Israel has tested its new laser air defense system that can shoot down drones, rockets, mortars, and anti-tank missiles, the country’s defense ministry revealed last week.
According to Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem, the head of the ministry’s research and development team, the “Iron Beam” defense system underwent a series of tests last month at challenging ranges and timings.
The ministry shared a video of the trial where the Iron Beam could be seen intercepting a mortar, rocket, and an unmanned aerial vehicle in Negev desert.
“This is the world’s first energy-based weapons system that uses a laser to shoot down incoming UAVs, rockets & mortars at a cost of $3.50 per shot,” Prime Minster Naftali Bennett wrote on Twitter.
Israel has successfully tested the new “Iron Beam” laser interception system.
This is the world’s first energy-based weapons system that uses a laser to shoot down incoming UAVs, rockets & mortars at a cost of $3.50 per shot.
It may sound like science fiction, but it's real. pic.twitter.com/nRXFoYTjIU
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) April 14, 2022
Laser-Based ‘Iron Beam’ System
Israel has been testing the laser-based defense system for several years and is among the first countries to use such capabilities.
Earlier in June 2021, Israel announced shooting down a drone with the laser-based defense system.
In February this year, Prime Minister Bennett announced that Tel Aviv would deploy the system within the year. He also said that the country would offer the technology to its allies.
The missile interception technology is expected to reduce the high costs currently incurred while shooting down aerial threats. Israel is intending to build the laser with 100 kilowatts of power, which will be capable of detecting drones up to a maximum range of 20 kilometers (12.4 miles).
The ground-based laser system is being developed to enhance the prowess of the existing air defense systems including the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow. It is expected to be deployed on land, air, and the sea.