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New weapons hub in Scotland to develop anti-drone lasers

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An anti-drone hub is to be built in Scotland to help meet the growing demand for laser weapons which target small attack drones.

The defence and intelligence technology firm Raytheon UK said the war in Ukraine has highlighted the threat posed by drones.

The firm’s president of electronic warfare systems, Annabel Flores, told the BBC that “demand is spiking for cost-effective lasers” able to defeat “asymmetric” threats from drones, rockets and mortars.

A drone is pictured in the sky
The war in Ukraine has seen a spike in demand for ‘cost-effective lasers’ which can take down attack drones (Alamy/PA)

The planned “advanced laser integration centre” will be a European hub for high-energy laser weaponry, the firm added, and will be based in Livingston, some 15 miles from Edinburgh.

The centre will focus on the testing, fielding and maintenance of defensive high-energy laser (HEL) weapons.

It comes after the Ministry of Defence announced that a £160 million contract had been awarded to Raytheon UK to support the training and development of Royal Navy personnel at Scotland’s HM Naval Base Clyde.

Britain’s armed forces began trials last year using laser weapons.

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