Britain uses Formula 1 technology to create Dragonfire combat laser

The Royal Navy of Great Britain has begun testing a new ship-based energy weapon. The system received the sonorous name "Dragonfire" (Dragon Flame) and is a type of laser for hitting targets with heat. The most interesting thing about the new product is the energy source, which is borrowed from Formula 1 technologies.

According to the UK Defense Journal, the Dragonfire system has a power of 50 kW and is designed to destroy small targets - rockets and mortar shells. The laser is capable of hitting targets over water and land, and it will be possible to install it on US ships, whose engineers took part in the development of weapons. It uses a power supply system that does not depend on the power grids of the ship itself.

The laser needs a huge amount of energy to operate, but not constantly, but in the form of short pulses. And therefore, the task is not to find a suitable source, but to create an intermediate storage that can quickly accumulate and release energy. Large capacity lithium batteries are prohibited in the fleet due to the risk of fire. And here engineers from the Williams Formula 1 team came to the rescue with their flywheel energy storage system.

In this mechanism, lightweight, high-speed flywheels spin as the chassis moves and accumulate rotational energy, so that they can then be given back when the next gear is engaged. Converting it into electricity is not a problem, the laser consumes only this amount of energy during firing and does not create additional load on the on-board network. US military representative Andrew Tate said that his department assessed the new technology as very promising for the creation of various types of energy weapons of the future.