Israel hails breakthrough as laser defense system clears tests
Defense Minister Benny Gantz calls the development a 'significant game-changer'
Israel’s Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that its laser defense system successfully cleared a number of trials - a moment which was hailed as a major breakthrough for the future of energy weapons in the country.
The Directorate of Defense Research & Development and Israeli defense firm Rafael “successfully completed ground-breaking tests with a high-power laser interception system against steep-track threats,” the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
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“The demonstrator successfully intercepted UAVs, mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles in multiple scenarios,” the office continued.
Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Rotem, the head of military research and development within Israel’s Defense Ministry, said that the system provides a financially-friendly alternative to Israel’s pricey Iron Dome interceptors.
The system, which is known as “Magen Or,” accurately intercepts distant targets but operates at a cost of just a few dollars per pulse.
“The technology is simple and proves economically viable,” Rotem said, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The official added that - according to data obtained from simulations - “we would have saved hundreds of Iron Dome Tamir missile interceptors” during Operation Guardian of the Walls had the laser system been operational.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz explained that while the system will not be mission-ready for some time, its development marks a “significant game-changer” for Israel’s security.