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Despite continued threats, Israel continues to find new ways to protect its airspace: The IDF’s new missile interception system, Magen Or, was recently approved by Defense Minister Beni Gantz. Developed by Rafael and Elbit Systems jointly, the new system will use laser technology to intercept rockets, mortar bombs, and UAVs. It will be available to the IDF in a year.
There is a significant cost saving from the system compared to other systems currently in use in the IDF, and it will operate in conjunction with the Iron Dome system (one missile in the Iron Dome system costs about $ 50,000). A defense budget of hundreds of millions of shekels will be dedicated to the first phase of the system’s development and experiments. The process will require hundreds of millions more in the future.
Defense Minister Gantz believes the new system will offer a strategic shift in the protection of the home front, in the flexibility of IDF operations and in the political echelon’s capacity for strategic flexibility. As well, he stated that the laser system would outperform other missile interception systems in terms of its economic efficiency and that its precedent-setting development might lead to collaborations in the international industry, as reported by kan.org.il.
First, the system will be installed in the southern part of the country for experimental purposes, and it will be deployed to other areas later. By using this technology, Israel will be able to surround its airspace with a laser wall, which will provide rapid and effective protection against missiles, rockets, UAVs, and other threats.