Israel to Deploy Iron Beam Laser System Against Hamas Rockets

When deployed, it will mark the Iron Beam's combat debut
  • Bureau
  • 07:36 AM, October 16, 2023
  • 821
Israel to Deploy Iron Beam Laser System Against Hamas Rockets
Iron Beam system @RAFAEL

Israel is fast-tracking the deployment of the Iron Beam laser air defense system, marking its possible inaugural use in a combat scenario.

The development was reported by news outlet Defense Industry Europe.

As part of rigorous operational tests, this 100-kW laser is set to enter the combat duty roster of the Israel Defense Forces. The Iron Beam laser system, designed and manufactured by Rafael, is engineered to intercept a wide spectrum of threats.

One of the system's features is its ability to neutralize rocket artillery shells, mortar mines, and drones at distances of up to several kilometers. This grants Israel a considerable advantage in terms of economy and efficiency, with each shot costing a mere thousand dollars, as opposed to the estimated $40,000 to $50,000 per shot for the Tamir interceptor missile used in the Iron Dome Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) system.

In light of the ongoing high-intensity conflicts, Israel has been grappling with a shortage of ammunition for the Iron Dome system, prompting the United States to provide additional missile support from its own arsenal to the Israeli military.

A major milestone was achieved in March 2022 when the Israeli military conducted a series of successful tests of the Iron Beam, during which the prototype effectively neutralized drones, mortar mines, and rockets. The original plan was to officially adopt the laser system by the Israel Defense Forces in 2025. However, the current security landscape necessitates an expedited deployment.

The Iron Beam system is poised to complement the Iron Dome, forming an integral part of Israel's multi-layer air defense and anti-missile defense system.

As of now, the IDF and Rafael possess only prototype laser stations, which are insufficient to effectively cover the entire expanse of Israeli territory. Consequently, these lasers are expected to safeguard the most vulnerable areas.

In another development, the U.S. Army recently received the first four prototypes of the advanced 50-kilowatt DE M-SHORAD short-range air defense laser systems, marking a significant advancement in laser-based defense technology.

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