Films have always been a source of inspiration behind new discoveries, technological advancements, and unique designs. Israeli engineers and scientists have now revealed a Star Wars-like laser beam that can target incoming missiles and render them useless. The Israeli prime minister says, “It may sound like science fiction, but it’s real.”
Dubbed Iron Beam, the technology, a laser missile-defense system, can reportedly intercept drones, mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles.
Israel has been known for its technological advancement in weaponry and is one of the biggest global exporters of arms. The Iron Beam is part of the country’s aerial defense system alongside its highly advanced rocket-intercepting Iron Dome. Claimed to be the world’s first energy-based weapons system, it uses a laser beam to shoot down incoming UAVs, rockets & mortars.
Naftali Bennett in a tweet said, “Israel has successfully tested the new “Iron Beam” laser interception system. This is the world’s first energy-based weapons system that uses a laser to shoot down incoming UAVs, rockets & mortars at a cost of $3.50 per shot.”
WHAT IS IRON BEAM?
In a video released by the Israeli government, the Iron Beam system is shown targetting an incoming rogue Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which is then destroyed mid-air before it is able to attack. The test was conducted last month in the Negev Desert.
The video, which was highly edited and set to music, appears to show a laser beam shooting out of a ground station, hitting the targets and smashing them into small pieces.
While the country has released very few details about the laser system’s effectiveness, it is expected to be deployed on land, in the air, and at sea. The goal is to deploy the laser systems around Israel’s borders over the next decade to protect the country against attacks. The announcement of the new system was aimed at sending messages to Palestine and Iran.
WHY DOES ISRAEL NEED IRON BEAM?
Part of a series of systems meant to intercept everything from long-range missiles to rockets launched from just a few kilometers (miles) away, Iron Beam has been designed to complement the Iron Dome system, which has emerged as a costly technology for the country.
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett had in February acknowledged that the Iron Dome defense system is too expensive and the country is speeding the rollout of laser technology to help protect it from rocket attacks. The Iron Dome defense system is too expensive and the country is speeding the rollout of laser technology to help protect it from rocket attacks. If it is possible to intercept a missile or rocket with just an electric pulse that costs a few dollars, we will have nullified the ring of fire that Iran has set up on our borders,” Bennett had told the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
The Iron Dome system, unveiled a decade ago, has been a great success, with a 90% interception rate against incoming rocket fire, however, it has been equally expensive. The Israeli prime minister had said that Iron Dome is limited by its high price, which is partly underwritten by the United States. Bennett said someone in Gaza can fire a rocket toward Israel for a few hundred dollars, but it costs tens of thousands of dollars to intercept it.
The new system, as claimed by the Israeli government, will cost just $3.50 per shot.
WILL OTHER COUNTRIES GET IRON BEAM?
Israel has been known to be a major arms exporter to countries across the world, including India, which uses Israeli Tavor assault rifles, the Negev and the B-300 anti-tank rocket launchers, and Phalcon AWACS systems among others. “This new generation of air defense can also serve our friends in the region,” Bennett has said in the past, hinting that the technology could be used by other countries as well.
The country is working on a “laser wall” against missiles, rockets, and drones that can be used by Israel and other countries against threats from Iran, which has developed long-range missiles capable of striking Israel.