Israeli laser drone-killer…

**In ‘game changer,’ Israeli laser-based air defense shoots down drones**
**Officials hail Iron Beam system after successful interceptions of guided and unguided projectiles; Gantz says all efforts being made for early deployment**
**By Emanuel Fabian, 4/14/2022, The Times of Israel**

**The Defense Ministry revealed Thursday that a laser air defense system it is developing successfully shot down drones, rockets, mortars, and anti-tank missiles in a first series of tests last month...**
**“The use of a laser is a ‘game changer’ and the technology is simple to operate and proves to be economically viable,” he said.**

**The 2022 timeline was apparently driven by concerns that in a future conflict, the military would not have sufficient interceptor missiles for the Iron Dome and other air defense systems to shoot down incoming rockets, missiles, and drones.**

**The ground-based laser system — dubbed 'Iron Beam' — which is being developed with the Rafael weapons manufacturer, is not meant to replace the Iron Dome or Israel’s other air defense systems, but to supplement and complement them, shooting down smaller projectiles and leaving larger ones for the more robust missile-based batteries...** [end quote]

The weakness of the laser system is that it doesn’t work unless the path is clear. It’s blocked by rain, fog, etc. The Israelis are working on mounting it on an airplane later.

Israelis specialize in small, inexpensive systems that protect the lives of the fighters. They developed and were using drones a couple of decades ago to avoid risking the lives of fighter pilots whenever possible.

Then the U.S. picked up the idea of drones and developed much heavier, more dangerous models like the Predator platform with armed payload, as in missiles and laser-guided bombs, which costs nearly $100 million apiece.

I can imagine DARPA picking up the idea of the laser drone-killer and developing a heavier model targeted at Chinese hypersonic missiles. After all, it’s hard to beat the speed of light. They’re probably already working on it.



I could see Taiwan being very interested in such systems.


I could see Ukraine being very interested in such systems.

Great news. The problem with lasers is does not work in fog or clouds. Unless they use very fancy wavelengths.

1 Like