Specialist UK Warship Can Launch Drones and Fire Lasers

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The UK is expecting to receive six specialist warships that can launch kamikaze drones and fire sophisticated laser weapons, as was revealed by Defense Secretary Grant Shapps.

The country’s new Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS) will be operated by the Royal Marines and will be mainly tasked with rapidly transporting the service’s commando forces from sea to shore all over the world. The MRSS could also participate in combat operations, as they will have a dock that can host and launch attack drones.

According to The Defense Post, these vessels will also feature a specialized area that is meant to mount laser weapons (maybe even the UK’s  DragonFire, which was recently tested and can neutralize hostile drones and missiles).

Shapps stated that they are not “building a ship that can only ever go and storm the beach and nothing else,” but rather “building a ship that could be as useful offshore … that could send commandos beneath the sea to their final location.”

The defense secretary is expected to formally announce the MRSS development (which is set to replace the country’s aging HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark amphibious assault vessels) during a sea power conference later this week.

The vessel will have docks for landing craft, a hangar that can house a Chinook helicopter, and a launch pad for rotary-wing aircraft. It will also have a large hull that has a lot of space to accommodate a wide variety of cargo, depending on the specific needs of the mission.

Shapps also reported that the promising capabilities of the new warships are very much aligned with the UK’s goal of winning potential future naval battles with China and other adversaries. He also added that as China and Russia continue to boost their military capabilities, the program aims to lead allies to invest more in naval power, concluding: “We’re making these critical investments in shipbuilding to build the future Royal Navy needed to deter our adversaries, and then win if they are not deterred.”