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In an announcement last week, the Israeli Ministry of Defense stated that Mafat (the Administration for Research and Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure) and Rafael have successfully completed several experiments in a powerful laser-based ground interception system that will be used by Israel against various threats. This is a significant achievement for the defense system of the State of Israel, which represents a global level of technological innovation resulting in accurate results while saving massive amounts of resources.
During a series of tests conducted recently in Israel’s southern region, the “Iron Beam” laser system, developed by Rafael in collaboration with Elbit Systems, successfully intercepted drones, mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles during a variety of operational scenarios. Several experiments were conducted as part of an ongoing multiyear pilot program in cooperation with Mafat and the defense industry. The laser weapons system is expected to be integrated as a complementary to the Iron Dome system, contributing significantly to the effectiveness of Israel’s integrated air defense systems.
The Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett tweeted that the laser system intercepts unmanned aerial vehicles, rockets, and mortars at a cost of $3.50 per interception. “This system will not only improve security for Israeli residents, it will also impoverish our enemies, who will invest a great deal in missiles, while laser interception will be very cheap,” Bennett added.
When the laser system detects a launch, it radiates a powerful and invisible laser beam that heats the target until it is destroyed, exploding in the air, or falling to the ground. In contrast to other systems that require constant missile replacement, this system has an unlimited supply of laser beams (interceptors) and only requires electricity, resulting in low operating costs. As we approach the end of the experiments, we are one step closer to the day when the innovative system will be operational and complementary to the Iron Dome, probably within the next few years. Take a look at the official video.