Israel downed missiles, mortar, ATGM, and UAV using a laser system

TEL AVIV, ($1=3.22 Isreali Shekels) — The Israeli army successfully intercepted and shot down a missile, a mortar shell, an anti-tank missile, and an unmanned aerial vehicle using a next-generation laser anti-aircraft system, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing the Israeli online portal Israel Times. These events occurred in March in the Negev desert at various intervals and were part of tests of the laser system.

The information has been officially confirmed by the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The military released a video of the tests on April 14th [Thursday]. According to the head of the research and development team of the Ministry of Brig. Gen. [res.] Yaniv Rotem, tests, and the laser system change the game. He also said the system is easily technologically developed, easy to manage, and economically viable.

Israel has always been targeted by Iran, but testing the laser system may be a signal that Israel is preparing to guard against a major conflict that may arise sooner than the analysis of some experts in the field. Evidence of such a claim is the fact that Israel planned to deploy this system in 2024, but the military wanted it to happen soon and received a promise from Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to do so by the end of 2022.

Israel downed missiles, mortar, ATGM, and UAV using a laser system
Photo credit: The Times of Israel

Iron Beam is the name of the laser system. Its role will not be to replace the Iron Dome but to complement it to ensure even greater protection and complementary efficiency. The Israeli defense minister said this Wednesday [April 13th] that the ministry is working to “make the system work as soon as possible and allow for an effective, cheap and innovative protection umbrella”. According to the Ministry of Defense, as long as there is energy to power the Iron Beam, the system will not run out of ammunition.

However, the Iron Beam has a drawback and that is that it cannot function effectively in bad weather conditions, such as low visibility or heavy clouds. For this reason, the Israeli military is considering an option to quickly develop an Iron Beam version to be integrated into the aircraft. So far, however, analysis shows that if this happens, it will not be as fast as the Ministry of Defense hopes.

The Israeli military intelligence estimates that Hezbollah has 13,000 missiles at its disposal. These are surface-to-surface missiles, mortars, etc. At the same time, figures for Hamas and the Palestinian Jihad are also worrying. It is said that despite last year’s 11-day missile war, in which thousands of missiles were fired, the two groups have thousands more missiles and mortars in reserve.

Last but not least is Iranian tendencies in anti-Israeli and provocative policies through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Jerusalem has long given the name to this Iranian strategy – “Iranian UAV terror”.

The commissioning of Iron Beam turned out to be extremely important against the background of such information. This laser system, together with the Iron Dome [short range], David’s Sling [medium range], and Arrow + Patriot [long range] can provide significantly much better air defenses in a future major conflict or war in the region.

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