Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. Announced that it will unveil in February a new laser defense system at an upcoming conference in Singapore. The Times of Israel first reported the news this week that the new system, called Iron Beam, is a “high-energy, laser-based defensive system designed to knock mortar rounds, artillery shells and other projectiles out of the sky.”
Currently, the most advanced defense system Israel has is the Iron Dome missile defense system which intercepts incoming rocket and mortar attacks. The Iron Beam system was created for “pinpoint defense”, focusing on smaller incoming projectiles.
Iron Beam is a welcome addition to the vast arsenal Israel employs against rocket attacks. Currently, each Iron Dome battery costs approximately $100,000. Utilizing laser technology, the Iron Beam system will cost significantly less to run than Iron Dome. The Iron Beam system would be the lowest level of defense in Israel’s multi-level defense system, behind Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 2, and Arrow 3
Israel plans to place Iron Beam in southern cities that are greatly unprotected from rocket attacks due to their close proximity to the Gaza Strip. The Negev town of Sderot is infamous for the barrage of rockets that constantly harass residents of the city, putting the lives of its residents in imminent danger. Sderot, which is four kilometers from Gaza, is unable to be protected from Iron Dome.