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Israeli Rafael Opens Facility in UAE, Demos Laser Weapon at IDEX 2023

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems held an inauguration ceremony to officially open its new facility in the United Arab Emirates.

The Israeli defense company’s president and CEO Yoav Har-Even presided over the “intimate” event with Emirati and Israeli officials, revealing plans to showcase the firm’s Iron Beam high-energy laser weapon system (HELWS) at this month’s IDEX 2023 defense exhibit in Abu Dhabi.

“We are encouraged by yet another concrete step in strengthening Rafael’s ties with the UAE. We can now say that we have built the bridge to the United Arab Emirates by this inaugural investment and are excited to continue to expand the relationships that have been cultivated thus far,” Har-Even said.

Israel has begun to expand its presence in the Gulf in the wake of improved relations with its Arab neighbors, spurred by the signing of the Abraham Accords.

Rafael’s Iron Beam at IDEX 2023

Rafael describes the Iron Beam as “a high-power laser interception system against steep-track threats” that intercepts “UAVs, mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles in various scenarios.”

The Israel firm says it “augment(s) the capabilities of air defense systems like the Iron Dome.”  

The company also plans to exhibit “an array of defense solutions and innovative technologies, some for the first time” in the UAE.

These include the Drone Dome counter-drone system and Spyder air defense system, which the company says “has been upgraded to allow for the counter ballistic missile capability through an extended range of the Derby LR missile.”

Additional platforms the company plans to exhibit include the NLOS Mission Task Force, which the company states “utilizes the world’s first 6th generation missile, the SPIKE NLOS.”

IDEX 2023 takes place from February 20 to February 24.

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