WASHINGTON, (BM) – Israel continues to work closely in the military industry with its largest ally to date, the United States. As we reported a few months ago, Tel Aviv and Washington are taking steps to co-produce the Iron Dome anti-aircraft missile system by improving its functionality to meet new dangers.
According to colleagues from the American edition of Defense News, Israel and the United States are starting joint work on laser systems that will be an integral part of the air force of both countries and their customers, thus striving to create a product capable of receiving new challenges in air strike protection, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
According to the director of the Israeli agency Moshe Patel, there is a serious future in this joint project on “laser” air defense, but everything is still in its infancy and at the moment the obstacles are mainly overcoming some political and classified issues between the two countries, which is completely normal. when starting a similar project.
This is not the first time that the United States and Israel have worked together in the field of air defense. As mentioned earlier – the two countries have made a major contribution to the development of Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, but also as far as history remembers, the two countries were jointly united in building the Arrow and David’s Sling systems, and very often Washington provided not only intellectual capacity, but also financial resources to make any of the cited projects possible.
According to Moshe Patel, there is a real ten-year agreement between the two countries to co-operate in this area. This agreement includes the joint development and production assistance of both software solutions and hardware capabilities of future systems.
According to the Israeli representative, they are just starting to work with their American colleagues. Everything is at the very beginning, conversations are held, ideas are exchanged, and existing technological solutions are being worked on, which allow them to be upgraded and updated so as to achieve the desired goals. According to Patel, the future lies in laser technology or the so-called “directed energy” and firmly believes that this area is quite good for cooperation between Washington and Tel Aviv.
The United States shares this view, at least in the words of Tom Karako, a military missile defense expert who believes that targeted energy must become a fundamental part of future air defense, especially in the face of growing threats from other countries. greater progress in the development of new missiles or missile facilities.
And as Karako claims, the efforts of both countries and their engineering minds will be focused on combining kinetic and non-kinetic energy to build a reliable tool that will be the basis of future air defense systems, which, incidentally, will also be offered to their partners.
Logically, Israel and the United States will focus on another area in which both countries, as well as the rest of the world, are in the early stages of development, namely hypersonic missile defense. As we know, Russia has developed, tested and is already arming its troops with three hypersonic missiles in recent years, and Patel believes that Israel and the United States should seriously work to counter them, as there is no real protection from them at the moment, and they are already lag behind.
Israel changes the game in homeland security – developed a laser based air defense system
After decades of expensive experiments, failed projects and fruitless ventures, Israeli defense establishment unveiled its latest revolutionary technological achievement – laser-based air defense system, as we reported in January last year.
The system is meant to intercept aerial threats ranging from as mortar fire, drones, medium range Grad rockets, anti-tank missiles as well as long-range missiles, currently at the disposal of Iran-backed terror groups in Syria and Lebanon.
Israel announced then that the system will be tested an undisclosed location in northern Israel. If the interception test is successful, the laser-based system will be dispatched for field use along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.
The laser, which was developed and manufactured by the government-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Elbit Systems over the past decade, has so far proven its interception capabilities during comprehensive testing over its lengthy development cycle.
The plan is to extend the laser’s uses and mount its systems on armored vehicles and trucks meant for battlefields in order to protect ground troops in hostile territory. In addition, there are plans to install the system on the Israeli Air Force jets in an effort to start intercepting long range missiles from the above.
“After many years of dreaming of an energy-based weapon system that doesn’t include any kind of ‘flying metal’ I can finally say we are so very close,” said Dubi Oster, the head of Optoelectronics at the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure.
“The capabilities we developed are based on electric lasers as opposed to the less reliable, more common chemical laser,” said Oster, “meaning we’ll be able to target and intercept a flying target from a distance of five kilometers (3.1 miles).”
The system’s interception will also be much cheaper than that of the Iron Dome, since it does not require expensive interceptor missiles. “The system basically has endless munition,” said Oster. “The system is also plugged to a power source, so there’s no need to reload regular ordnance.”
The new laser system is expected to complement existing active defense systems in the future, such as the Arrow, Patriot and the Iron Dome. For all its innovations, the system does have its downsides, mainly its field of view which is highly dependent on weather conditions since the system relies on optics in order to successfully hit the intended target.
“If we successfully attach the system to an aircraft, we could overcome the hurdle of [unexpected] weather … we could potentially intercept rocket fire right above the enemy’s heads,” said the Defense Ministry.
“The Israeli mind keeps paving the way, the new laser project will turn Israel’s defense into deadlier and more advanced,” said Defense Minister Naftali Bennett. “It’s a clear message to our enemies, our capabilities are vast.”
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