BRUSSELS is to build a giant laser weapon sparking fears of a Brexit arms race, The Sun can reveal.
The planned 100-kilowatt âEuropean high power laser effectorâ triggered claims the EU is trying to rip off the our world-leading laser technology before the UK leaves.
Jean-Claude Juncker pictured as Bond baddie Ernst Stavro BlofeldThe Ministry of Defenceâs Â£30million missile and drone-zapping Dragonfire beam was unveiled last year.
But now Jean-Claude Junckerâs European Commission has put a June deadline for âa consortium of scientistsâ to come forward with plans for an even bigger laser.
And the successful boffins will be given taxpayer funds from the â¬90million EU Preparatory Action for Defence Research to research the âlaser weaponâ.
EU Commission research programmes officer Dr Erno Vandeweert joked if someone was shot with it âthe whole head would disappear.
Defence contractors and experts were invited to Brussels nightclub Area 42 last Thursday to be briefed by the Belgian physicist on the plan.
A slideshow presented said: âCurrent European high power laser effectors rely mainly on non-European technology and are based on architectures that combine incoherent beams on the target.
âThe EU thus risks becoming fully dependent on suppliers established in non-EU countries for this critical defence technology.â
They have been set the target to have the weapon to be ready for âmilitary end usersâ by 2027.
Last night former ISAF commander Lieutenant-General Jonathon Riley said: âThis appears to be a blatant attempt for Brussels to start a Brexit arms race with the UK.â
The board member of pro-Brexit group Veterans for Britain went on: âThey are playing catch up on our brilliant technology and defence ministers must make sure nothing is shared with what looks like a rival to the UKâs Dragonfly.â
And the TaxPayersâ Alliance said: âAnyone who thinks British taxpayers should pay for Jean-Claude Juncker to play Blofeld with a giant ray gun must be off their heads already.â
Boss John OâConnell blasted: âBritain is a world leader in laser technology and it is ridiculous to suggest that Britons should subsidise the EUâs efforts to catch up.â