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UK to Receive Specialist Warships That Can Launch Drones, Fire Lasers

The UK will soon receive six specialist warships capable of launching kamikaze drones and firing sophisticated laser weapons, Defense Secretary Grant Shapps has revealed.

Shapps recently told The Telegraph that development has begun for the country’s new Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS), which will be operated by the Royal Marines.

The vessels will have the primary task of rapidly transporting the service’s commando forces from sea to shore anywhere in the world.

But they can also participate in combat operations, as the MRSS will have a dock that can host and launch attack drones.

They will also feature a specialized area to mount laser weapons, potentially the UK’s recently-tested DragonFire, which can neutralize hostile drones and missiles.

“We’re not building a ship that can only ever go and storm the beach and nothing else,” Shapps stated. “We’re 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 during a sea power conference later this week.

‘Winning Future Battles’

The MRSS is set to replace the country’s aging HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark amphibious assault vessels.

It 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 spacious hull to accommodate a wide variety of cargo depending on mission needs.

According to Shapps, the promising capabilities of the new warships are in line with the country’s goal of winning potential naval battles with China and other adversaries in the future.

He said the program also aims to lead allies to invest more in naval power as China and Russia continue to boost their military capabilities.

“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,” Shapps stressed.

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