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Lockheed Martin teams with Rafael on laser weapons

Frank St John, chief operating officer of Lockheed Martin, and Major General (retd) Yoav Har-Even, Rafael CEO and president, standing on either side of the laser director from the Iron Beam system unveiled earlier by the Israeli company. (Rafael Advanced Defense Systems)

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Lockheed Martin announced on 5 December that they have signed an agreement on the joint development, testing, and manufacturing of high-energy laser weapons.

“The future joint development will be based on the assets that have been developed independently by Rafael and the [Israeli] Ministry of Defense's (MoD's) Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) within the framework of the Iron Beam project,” they said in a statement. “The co-operation will be geared towards developing a variant of the system for the American market as well as others.”

“This agreement will expand and diversify the capabilities we can offer to a variety of customers,” the statement quoted Rafael CEO and president Major General (retd) Yoav Har-Even. “This serves as a clear example of Israeli-made capabilities leading to strategic co-operation, which will greatly benefit both sides.”

“Working with Rafael, our joint team will help bring this new, life-saving capability to our customers,” said Lockheed Martin chief operating officer Frank St John.

The companies did not provide further details of the collaboration, but Janes has learnt that the plan is to develop an exportable system that uses the laser from the Iron Beam system rather than one developed by Lockheed Martin.

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