Israel successfully tested the Iron Beam laser system, shooting down a drone, a mortar round and an artillery shell (video)
In a video released by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, a laser system intercepts a missile, a mortar round and a drone. The video was filmed in the Negev desert in southern Israel in March of this year. And this system is being developed under the name "Iron Beam" by the company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, known for its modern developments in anti-aircraft systems, including the famous "Iron Dome" (Iron Dome ).
The ground-based laser air defense system, dubbed "Iron Beam", is not intended to replace the "Iron Dome" or other Israeli air defense systems (anti-aircraft missile system "David's Sling" /David's Sling or mobile air defense system Spyder ), but to complement them. Its task is to destroy small projectiles and mortars, leaving larger targets for more reliable (and more expensive to use - each rocket costs money, unlike a laser beam, which consumes only energy) rocket batteries.
According to the head of the research and development department of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Brigadier General Yaniv Rotem (Yaniv Rotem), the tests were carried out in "difficult" conditions - the distance to the targets, limited timing and night time. "The use of a laser is a game changer and the technology is easy to operate and is proving to be economically viable”, he noted.
The Iron Beam laser air defense system during testing in southern Israel, March 2022
Israel does not disclose the technical characteristics of the Iron Beam system (for example, laser power), but notes that its power turned out to be even higher than the design one. At the same time, the disadvantages of the laser system are also noted - it is inefficient in conditions of poor visibility or high cloudiness. That's why there are plans install a similar laser on an aircraft, which will be in the air above the clouds. According to representatives of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, this may take several more years.
During last year's 11-day war, more than 4,000 shells and rockets were fired at Israel by terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip. Against these and other threats, Israel uses a multi-layered air defense system consisting of short-range Iron Dome, medium-range David Sling, and long-range Arrow and Patriot systems. The appearance of the Iron Beam laser system will make it possible to repel attacks not only from missiles, but also from smaller targets, such as artillery shells and mortar mines. The Israeli Ministry of Defense also says that Iron Beam will be able to shoot down drones and anti-tank missiles.
Source: the Times of Israel
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