Israel’s new laser missile-defense system has successfully intercepted mortars, rockets and anti-tank missiles in recent tests, Israeli leaders said.
The Israeli-made laser system, known as the “Iron Beam,” is designed to complement a series of aerial defense systems, including the more costly rocket-intercepting Iron Dome.
“This may sound like science-fiction, but it’s real,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. ”The Iron Beam’s interceptions are silent, they’re invisible and they only cost around $3.50” apiece, he added.
The goal is to deploy the laser systems around Israel’s borders over the next decade to protect the country against attacks.
Israel said its Iron Dome defense system has been a great success, with a 90% interception rate against incoming rocket fire. But officials say the system is expensive to deploy. Bennett has said that someone in Gaza can fire a rocket toward Israel for a few hundred dollars, but it costs tens of thousands of dollars for the Iron Dome to intercept it.
The Defense Ministry released a short video showing what it said were the new system’s successful interceptions of rockets, mortars and an unmanned aerial vehicle. The video appeared to show a laser beam coming out of a ground station, hitting the targets and smashing them into small pieces.