skip to main content

Israel to deploy protective ‘laser wall'

A high-power laser burns through a target drone during a trial of an airborne system announced in June 2021. (Israeli MoD)

Israel is to deploy a laser interception system within the next 12 months to protect itself from ground-launched and airborne threats, the government announced on 1 February.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that the laser system will first be deployed in an experimental capacity before being rolled out operationally.

“Within about a year, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will implement a laser interception system, initially experimentally and then operationally. First in the south, and then elsewhere,” Bennett said. “This will allow us, in the medium to long term, to surround Israel with a laser wall that will protect us from missiles, rockets, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and other threats, and in fact take from the enemy the strongest card it has against us.”

Prime Minister Bennett did not disclose the nature of the laser system to be employed, but Israel is known to have been working on a number of air- and ground-based solutions over several years.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) signalled a breakthrough in January 2020, when it announced the launch of three programmes in co-operation with Rafael and Elbit. It said the development of electric-source laser systems to replace chemical laser technology was central to the programmes. The three programmes are aimed at developing a ground-based laser that complements Iron Dome, a mobile system that protects soldiers in the field, and an airborne system to intercept threats above the cloud cover. Bennett appears to have been referring to the first system.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...