Rheinmetall, a European defence contractor, and missile developers MBDA Deutschland have reached an agreement with the German Navy to supply the weapon. The laser will be mounted on a corvette ship – most likely a K130, UK Defence Journal reports. A press release said: “The details and division of responsibilities between the two companies will be determined as soon as the performance specification is made available by the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support, Germany’s military procurement agency.”
Peter Heilmeieri of MBDA Deutschland said: “Cooperation between Rheinmetall and MBDA will be particularly beneficial for the Bundeswehr.
“Both companies will be leveraging their respective special strengths to make this German Navy project a resounding success.”
Werner Krämer of Rheinmetall said the laser would offer “tactical possibilities” to the German Navy.
He said: “We’re going to be cooperating very closely to put the military potential of laser technology to work for the Bundeswehr, boosting its operational readiness and combat effectiveness.
“Compared to other countries, too, our two companies possess extraordinary capabilities.
“Lasers offer new tactical possibilities on land, at sea and in the air.
“In partnership with the German Navy, we want to press ahead with this new technology.”
Britain also boasted laser-equipped military-ware, including the planned Tempest fighter jet.
The sixth generation aircraft is being developed by Britain in conjunction with Sweden to replace the ageing Typhoon.
Andrew Kennedy, strategic campaigns director at BAE Systems, told Express.co.uk: “We’re all hugely excited to be involved in Team Tempest.
“We want to make the Tempest as iconic as the Spitfire.
“This has the potential to be a revolutionary aircraft, a real game-changer.”
And last year it was revealed Britain is close to developing laser cannons.
Justin Bronk, an expert in combat airpower and technology, said it would not be long before the technology, once the stuff of science fiction, was ready to be deployed.
The US currently leads the world in the field.
Mr Bonk said: “The US Military has been experimenting with chemical-energy laser weapons for decades.
“However, the major progress in recent years has been in the power output and beam quality of solid state laser weapons which simply draw their energy from electricity rather than chemical reactions.
“The destructive potential of a laser is directly proportional to the amount of energy that can be put through it so handheld weapons are very unlikely for the forseeable future without some sort of revolution in energy storage and generation technology.
“At the moment it is far beyond the realm of the possible to for an individual soldier to carry generators and capacitors, as well as coolant to handle the huge amount of energy required to give a laser weapon similar destructive potential to a firearm.”
More to follow…