Laser-Based Air Defense From Israel Shoots Drones Down
In recent news, the Defense Ministry in the State of Israel revealed that a newly developed air defense system has been successful in shooting down rockets, anti-tank missiles, drones, and mortars. This was concluded after the first series of tests were run in the previous month. As per Brig. Gen Yaniv Rotem, the chairman of the research and development team of the ministry, all the tests were conducted at challenging timings and rate. He added that the use of a laser is innovative and a game changer for the country, as well as the world. In his words, the technology is quite simple to operate and has proved to be economically viable too.
The ministry released a video, which showed the laser-based system intercepting an incoming rocket, a drone, as well as a mortar. This took place at an undisclosed location in the region of Southern Israel, specifically Negev. For the last couple of years, the ministry has been determined to introduce a laser-based defense system and thus, has been running tests consecutively. In the previous year, the defense system successfully managed to shoot down a single drone. Consequently, these recent tests proved to yield positive results as the system took down various other threats, such as anti-tank guided missiles and unguided projectiles.
The research and development wing of the Defense Ministry had initially planned on deploying the anti-missile system by the year 2024. However, the military has been pushing for earlier deployment. The Prime Minister of the country, Naftali Bennett, made an announcement in the month of February, revealing that the Jewish state will be deploying the system before the year is out. This fast-paced decision was driven by various arising concerns that the military would be unable to deal with interceptor missiles in a future conflict. Thus, it needed a laser-based system for the Iron Dome to help shoot down incoming missiles, drones, and rockets.
Benny Gantz, the defense minister, said that the ministry is making efforts to ensure that the system becomes operational at the earliest. He is hoping to enable an innovative, inexpensive, and efficient protection umbrella for the well-being of the country. The ground-based laser system, which has been dubbed as Iron Beam, is currently being developed with the help of the Rafael weapons manufacturer. The ministry has made it clear that it will not be used as a replacement for the Iron Dome or other air defense systems of the country. It will only complement and supplement the existing systems and shoot down smaller incoming projectiles. Larger ones, on the other hand, will be left for systems that are more robust.
In the words of the ministry, the Jewish state is one of the first countries across the globe to have succeeded in using advanced laser technology and develop a functional air defense system. It is also the first to demonstrate the use of the laser-based defense system in operational scenarios, as it intercepts incoming threats.