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Israel Completes Tests of Iron Beam Air Defence System

Rafael High Energy Laser Defeats Steep-Track Threats

Rafael and the Israeli MoD have completed a series of live-fire tests of the Iron Beam high-powered laser air defence system against steep-track threats, the company announced on 14 April. The demonstrator successfully intercepted UAVs, mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles.

Iron Beam provides Israel with a unique capability – a high energy laser system at an operational interception capability. The ongoing programme aims to develop high power ground and aerial lasers to deal with long-range, high intensity threats, and is intended to complement Iron Dome as an effective, cost-efficient addition to Israel’s multi-layered air defence system.

The successful tests included the interception of a wide range of threats and have proven the system’s remarkable capabilities. Our cooperation with the [MoD] has led to this extraordinary development, constituting a significant milestone in the process to achieve operational capability. I am confident that this technological breakthrough will lead to future capabilities in directed energy, including the high-power laser system,” commented Yoav Har Even, Rafael CEO and President.

The [MoD Directorate of Defence Research & Development] leads significant research and development programs in various technological fields that support the IDF and the State of Israel. The high-power laser system will form an integral part of Israel’s multi-tiered air defence array. This technological breakthrough has come at a time when the operational demand for the system is at an all-time high. These tests have been a great success, thanks to the creativity, innovation, and knowledge inherent in the research and development processes. In recent years, the DDR&D has led the laser programme in partnership with the IDF and the defence industry, under the command of the DDR&D’s Head of R&D, Brig Gen. Yaniv Rotem. They are the people who turned vision into reality. The DDR&D will continue to lead the research, knowledge, and technological developments that form the base of the ground-breaking systems used to protect the State of Israel,” explained Daniel Gold, Head of the DDR&D.

The completion of these innovative tests using a high-power laser is just the beginning of our vision. This is the first time we’ve succeeded in intercepting mortars, rockets, and UAVs from such challenging ranges and time intervals. The laser is a game-changer, thanks to its easily operated system and significant economic advantages. The next step is to continue the development and initial system deployment within Israel. Our plan is to station multiple laser transmitters along Israel’s borders throughout the next decade. We will continue to simultaneously develop advanced capabilities, including the aerial laser,” added Yaniv Rotem, Head of R&D for DDR&D.

The Iron Beam demonstrator during the test programme. (Rafael Advanced Defense Systems)

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