By Tyler Durden
Last year we reported on Israel’s development of a ground-based laser defense system dubbed “Iron Beam,” which then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called “a game-changer” that could “bankrupt” the enemy.
Let’s do some math:
If firing a rocket at Israel costs terrorists $20,000
Intercepting that rocket costs Israel $100,000
What would happen if Israel’s new “Iron Beam” laser system could intercept that rocket at $2 per shot?
Tables turned on terror & an equation redefined. pic.twitter.com/VWlWKEZpAk
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) June 1, 2022
Now, it’s being reported that the system – which has been in development by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for 15 years, and was originally set for a 2025 rollout, will be deployed more quickly than that due to the Israel-Hamas war, and it may be placed in service as early as 2024.
More than a hundred Rafael engineers have reportedly been working on this project, considered one of the most significant technological challenges ever faced by the Israeli defense industries, in order to create a fast and effective interception system, with inexhaustible and near cost-free ammunition.
Recent tests of Iron Beam in the Negev have shown promising results, with the system successfully intercepting various airborne threats. The heart of the system is an electric laser pointer, capable of targeting and sending out a powerful laser beam, invisible to the naked eye.
Since the war erupted on October 7, more than 10,000 projectiles have been fired at Israel, including 3,000 in the first hours of the conflict. Rafael and the Israeli Defense Ministry have considered the current operations as an opportunity to test the Iron Beam under real combat conditions. –i24news
Speaking with Calcalist, one of Rafael’s iron beam program managers expressed high hopes for the system, saying “Our aim is to reach a state where the enemy feels totally powerless. He has to understand that our laser pointers, deployed where needed, intercept and destroy all his attacks, almost instantly after they are launched, long before they reach Israeli territory or threaten anyone else. In such a scenario, the activation of warning sirens might even become unnecessary.”
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The system will be seen as a compliment to the existing Iron Dome system, which costs around $50,000 per interceptor missile
“Any modern military wants to develop systems to intercept incoming fire as a defensive measure,” Security expert Dr Rod Thornton of the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London told the Mirror. “Investments has been down the line of lasers. It is very complicated to get a laser to work, you need a lot of energy and a good power source to fire the laser, but it is the way forward.”
The Biden administration sent a funding request to Congress to support the development of the technology. The request is part of a proposed package by the White House for $14.3 billion from Congress to fund Israeli security. If approved, around $10.6 billion of the budget would be used to fund air and missile defense.
As reported by Defenses Scoop, $1.2 billion will be used for the development of Iron Beam, according to a letter to Congress from the Office of Management and Budget “It is what the American military wants as well,” Thornton said. “They want to benefit from the Israeli development of Iron Beam.” –The Mirror
“Going forward, things like high-tech defense systems like laser interceptors are going to be a thing,” said Thornton.
“You can expect it to be rolled out more, but it is very expensive. If the Americans are backing it through the Israeli Defense Force, through Raphael, then it is going to go forward… It is going to become more effective and cheaper in the coming years.”
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