Israel shoots down missiles with lasers – ‘a world breakthrough’

‘Iron Dome’ is the successor to ‘Iron Beam’: Israel claims to have successfully tested a laser defense system. Drones, rockets and grenades were reportedly intercepted.

According to Israel, it successfully tested a high-powered laser system for missile defense. The Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday that a series of tests with the so-called “Iron Beam” intercepted drones, rockets and mortar shells.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement: “Today, for the first time, an Israeli-made high-powered laser system successfully intercepted multiple targets, marking a global breakthrough.”

Gantz recently approved a multi-million dollar development budget. The new missile defense is called “Iron Beam”, after the name of the mobile missile defense system “Iron Dome”, which protects Israel from missile attacks.

The tests are part of a multi-year program, the ministry said. The objective is to develop a powerful laser system that will complement the “Iron Dome” anti-missile shield. The state-owned arms company Rafael is in the lead.

Rocket attacks are frequent. In particular, Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip and pro-Iranian militias such as Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon to the north threaten Israel with rockets.

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