skip to main content

Israel announces successful laser tests

The laser system used in the trials was the Iron Beam prototype previously seen at a Rafael facility. (Israel Ministry of Defense)

The Israeli Ministry of Defense's (MoD's) Directorate of Defense Research and Development announced (DDR&D) on 14 April the first successful series of live-fire tests using a high-power ground-based laser interception.

During the trial, which was conducted with the system's primer contractor Rafael, lasers destroyed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles in flight, according to the MoD.

It released video showing rockets, mortars, and a UAV being launched during the trial and infrared footage of them being destroyed in the air.

“About a month ago, we announced a full-scale development order to develop and produce a high-power laser defence system,” Minister of Defense Benny Gantz said in a statement. “Today marks the first time that a high-power, Israeli-made laser system successfully intercepted various targets, constituting a breakthrough on a global scale.”

“This is the first time we've succeeded in intercepting mortars, rockets, UAVs, and anti-tank missiles from such challenging ranges and time intervals,” said Brigadier General Yaniv Rotem, who heads research and development at the DDR&D. “The next step is to continue the development and initial system deployment.”

The MoD said the tests are the first phase of a multi-year programme aimed at developing ground and aerial laser systems that can defend against “long-range, high-intensity threats” in conjunction with the Iron Dome air-defence system.

“Our plan is to station multiple laser transmitters along Israel's borders throughout the next decade. We will continue to simultaneously develop advanced capabilities, including the aerial laser,” Brig Gen Rotem said.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...