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In the news yesterday, the Israelis test-fired the new Iron Dome Laser and shot down some drones.
In a video released by the ministry, the laser-based system can be seen intercepting a rocket, a mortar, and a drone at an undisclosed location in southern Israel’s Negev desert, during March of this year.
The ministry has been testing the laser-based defense system for several years, shooting down a drone with it last year. The recent tests were the first to be successful against the other threats, including unguided projectiles and anti-tank guided missiles. (The latter was not shown in footage released by the ministry.)
The ground-based laser system — dubbed Iron Beam — which is being developed with the Rafael weapons manufacturer, is not meant to replace the Iron Dome or Israel’s other air defense systems, but to supplement and complement them, shooting down smaller projectiles and leaving larger ones for the more robust missile-based batteries.
According to the ministry, Israel is among the first countries in the world to succeed in using powerful laser technology to develop a working air defense system and to demonstrate interceptions in operational scenarios.
Right now it’s useful for only small things, but it would be good to have something that can shoot down those Russian hypervelocity missiles that made Aegis useless.Published in