Israel develops laser-based air defense system

Jerusalem, Jan 20: Israel is developing a laser- based air defense system for intercepting short-range rockets and other airborne threats, local media said.

The state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems “Iron Beam” is designed to deal with threats that fly too short and low to be effectively engaged by Iron Dome, another system produced by Rafael which has intercepted hundreds of Katyusha rockets fired by militants in the Gaza Strip, Xinhua reported.

Iron Beam is a “High Energy Laser (HEL) based system that repels rockets, mortar and airborne target attacks,” the Haifa- based company said on its website, adding that it will showcase the system for the first time at the Singapore Air Show next month.

Once operational, Iron Beam’s electric-generated laser beams would be employed against “very short range projectiles” such as mortar rounds, tank shells and explosives-laden drones with ranges of up to seven kilometres, the Walla news site reported.

The system would be ideal for protecting Sderot, an Israeli town whose close proximity to Gaza falls short of the minimal range required by Iron Dome for a successful interception, the The Times of Israel reported.

IANS