Bennett claimed that the “Iron Beam” is the “world’s first energy-based weapons system” that uses a laser to shoot down incoming unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), r0ckets and mortars at a “cost of $3.50 per sh0t”.
The laser section of iron dome is no longer subject to weather. In short, it is guided by infrared and another still classified targeting system so the lasers can quickly and accurately point into the path of an incoming ordinance to take it out. It does not need to hit it in flight as it reads the flight path and creates the beam into that path.
In tests in southern Israel by the Defense Research and Development Agency (DDR&D) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the laser system known as Iron Beam successfully intercepted a range of aerial targets, including drones, mortars, guided missiles and in different cases anti-tank missiles, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel has become one of the first countries to successfully develop powerful laser technology and meet operational standards capable of eavesdropping in combat scenarios.
Game-Changer For Israel?
Bennett has repeatedly highlighted the cost-efficiency of the Iron Beam in recent months, which makes a lot of sense. After all, for the better part of a decade now, Israel has relied heavily on its famous Iron Dome missile defense system for shooting down the hundreds of r0ckets fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip. Short-range Hamas r0ckets often only cost a few thousand dollars to produce, while each Tamir interceptor missile fired by the Iron Dome – and Israel has often fired two Tamirs against each incoming rocket – costs at least $50,000.
Aside from turning the table on its enemies economically, Bennett believes the addition of the Iron Beam to Israel’s high-tech air defenses will also strengthen Israel’s economy since it will hugely reduce the cost of countering rocket and drone threats, explained a senior Israeli official.
The system is most effective against short-range threats such as r0ckets, mortars, drones, and anti-tank missiles. It can engage such threats from up to 2,000 meters away. The first variant of the system is ground-based. And the official also disclosed that there will also be air and even space-based Iron Beam systems in the future.