Does Israel use a laser system against Hamas rockets?

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – The ongoing “missile war” between Israel and Gaza opens up another aspect of reflection – what other weapon besides the Iron Dome air defense system does Israel use to oppose Palestinian missiles?

As we wrote a few days ago, the Iron Dome air defense system has a relatively wide range of coverage – from 4 to 70 km. If Israeli anti-aircraft batteries miss a missile, which weapon can be used for a range of less than 4 km? Isn’t this Iron Beam?

Does Israel use a laser system against Hamas rockets?
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Iron Beam is an Israeli air defense system operating on the principle of “directed high energy,” or better known to the public as a laser. The range is minimal – up to 7 km, which corresponds to the condition that a Palestinian missile is missed from the Iron Dome.

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Since the middle of last year, the Iron Beam has been part of the armament of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The system is presenting as the fifth beam of the entire Israeli defense, including air defense systems Arrow 2, Arrow 3, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome.

According to available information, Iron Beam has to deal with missiles, drones, artillery shells, mortar shells, or anything with a concise range. The Israelis say that the Iron Beam uses a high-energy laser beam. This type of air defense system has significantly less cost than traditional ones, can be used very often, and should destroy enemy ammunition and missiles within 4-5 seconds.

Is Iron Beam involved in the ‘missile war’ right now?

Israel is generally always thrifty on such information. We witness that even transactions between Israel and an external client (another country) are rarely made public. But when a weapon is successful, even a country like Israel would present it during actual hostilities.

Russian military analysts say that if Iron Beam is currently involved in Israel’s defense line, this laser air defense system has failed. Moreover, the Palestinian missile attack shows that Israel alone would intercept almost everything, but in an intense and massive attack, it will not cope.

According to the Russians, Iron Beam is part of the current defense of Israel, but it does not cope at all, and for this reason, there is complete silence from Tel Aviv. The same Aviapro source claims that Israel is seriously manipulating the data of even its Iron Dome Pride, recalling the attack in late April this year, when the Palestinians fired 36 missiles, and Iron Dome intercepted only six of them.

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“If the Israeli military laser simply cannot handle the interception of conventional missiles, then what about supersonic cruise missiles and ballistic warheads,” ask the source of Aviapro in his analysis.

Will Israel accept the Iron Beam laser system as a failure?

It is too early to say that Iron Beam is a failure. At the moment, no one but the Israeli military has information on how many missiles this laser system shot down and how many it missed.

But as early as the beginning of the “missile war” between Israel and Hamas, a message arrived that the Palestinians had tried to hit a chemical plant in the city of Nir Oz. kamikaze drones carried out the attack. Still, the plant was not hit, despite speculative allegations in the media. Some military experts believe that it was in this case that the Iron Beam was used successfully and prevented a chemical accident.

It is too early to talk about the failure or success of this Israeli laser. A similar opinion was expressed by the American weapons expert Mark Episkopos in one of his articles. “Jerusalem recently invested in Iron Beam, a laser air defense system that promises to strengthen the constraints of the Iron Dome, but it’s too early to assess the effectiveness of Beam’s battlefield fully.”

What is happening in the area?

The violence began after the focus fell on controversial judicial and political actions over the Palestinian-populated Sheikh Jara district of East Jerusalem. An Israeli court initially ruled that Palestinians should be evicted from the neighborhood and be populated with Israelis. A hearing on the eviction followed, but it never ended last Sunday and was postponed.

On Monday, Jerusalem was subjected to a brief rocket attack by al-Quds and Hamas with a request on the eviction decision. Israel did not comply with the Palestinians, which led to a retaliatory strike and a rocket fire between the two countries for the second day in a row.

According to a field source, Israel has involved fighter jets and tanks in the conflict, which are hitting 130 targets in the Gaza Strip. These goals are related to the Hamas movement. According to the Israeli authorities, these goals are also associated with terrorist organizations.

The international community welcomes the actions of Israelis and Palestinians, but as statements from both sides make clear, both sides may reach no agreement soon.

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