Israel’s defense ministry has recently approved a “significant” budget for the development and procurement of Elbit Systems’ and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Iron Beam laser missile defense system. The ministry said in a statement that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems CEO Har-Even, and Elbit System Finance Project Manager Oren Segev examined the final version of the laser missile defense system, and that the contract for the system’s development will be signed soon.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems‘ official twitter account stated that the company is proud to spearhead the development and supply of the ‘Iron Beam’ system, which the company describes as the most powerful laser system of its kind in the world. Rafael CEO Yoav Har-Even stated that after many years of research and development, he sees this strategic weapon as an important milestone in Israel’s air defense capabilities.
The Iron Beam system is the most recent addition to Israel’s current multi-layered air and missile defense umbrella, which also includes the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow systems. This new weapon technology, which has been in development for some time, is designed to integrate into Israel’s existing air defense network. It will use fiber lasers to destroy UAVs, rockets, mortars, ballistic missiles, and other threats in the air.
Gantz made a statement on the subject on his social media accounts, describing the new system as an important step in the country’s progress toward a significant change in the battlefield and increasing Israeli security in the face of growing threats on the Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria borders supported by Iran and terrorist organizations.
Gantz continued by saying, “The high-power laser system constitutes a strategic change in Israel’s defense of the home front in addition to the political and operational echelons’ flexibility during combat. As in the past, the DDR&D, Israeli industries, and the defense establishment continue to maintain Israel’s operational edge and save lives through creativity, flexibility, and ground-breaking technologies.”
The rocket and drone strikes that Israel has been subjected to for a long time were a major influence in the development of the system, which was originally exhibited at the 2014 Singapore Air Show. According to public sources, the system can be used regardless of weather conditions, can focus on multiple targets at the same time, can intercept the target multiple times, cause damage at various levels, and minimizes damage to the environment because there is no risk of the weapon falling into civilian settlements in the event of a system failure.
When compared to other missile defense systems, the Iron Beam system has two significant benefits for Israel. The first benefit is the low cost, while the second is the unlimited ammunition. The majority of airstrikes on Israel are carried out with homemade rockets and drones with a value of only a few hundred dollars. Israel, on the other hand, eliminates these air threats with missiles worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Israel will have ‘unlimited ammunition’ and the capacity to fire indefinitely if the system’s energy supply is not cut off with the addition of the Iron Beam directed energy weapon system to its multi-layered air and missile defense umbrella. Furthermore, compared to air defense missiles, the cost of each discharge of the system is quite low, reversing the economic equation for Israel.