ISRAEL TO DEPLOY ‘IRON BEAM,’ WORLD’S FIRST LASER-BASED AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM
The weapon system will extend the ability of the IDF to protect Israeli civilians from Palestinian Hamas militants rocket attacks by using a laser to target and “bring down like flies” short-range rockets, artillery shells, and mortar bombs with trajectories too small for Israel’s famed Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries to engage and intercept effectively.
Both the Iron Dome interceptor and the new Iron Beam system are manufactured by the state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. in a project funded by the Israeli Ministry of Defense and extensively underwritten by the U.S.
According to the Daily Mail, Rafael officials said the new system was the result of five years of research and development in solid-state laser. It was enthusiastically touted by a spokesperson for Rafael, Amit Zimmer, as the real-life version of futuristic “Star Wars” technology.
“It’s very accurate and will help avoid collateral damage… When you use lasers, you have an unlimited magazine.”
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