Iron Beam laser defense system will ‘bankrupt’ Israel’s foes

“This is a game changer because not only can we strike the enemy militarily, but also financially bankrupt them.”

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

The Iron Beam, a new laser defense system under development, will “bankrupt” Israel’s foes, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said after a visit to the project’s Haifa facility on Wednesday.

Bennett was updated on the project by Maj. Gen. Yoav Har-Even, president and CEO of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, Iron Beam’s lead contractor.

The laser system will intercept missiles, drones, mortars, and anti-tank rockets, according to successful tests in April.

“This is a game changer because not only can we strike the enemy militarily, but also financially bankrupt them. Until today it would cost us a lot of money to intercept every rocket. Today they can invest tens of thousands of dollars in a rocket and we can invest two dollars to cover the cost of the electricity in shooting down the rocket.”

A laser defense system would be significantly less expensive to maintain than the current Iron Dome. While the Qassam rockets used by Hamas are said to cost $300-$800 apiece, one Iron Dome interceptor missile costs around $50,000.

During the Gaza war of May 2021, Palestinians fired 4,369 rockets at Israel in a 12-day period. According to the IDF, about two-thirds landed in open areas or malfunctioned but Israel was forced to fire approximately 1,500 interceptors.

Replenishing Israel’s stockpile of interceptors was delayed when $1 billion in American assistance was held up in Congress, first by far-left Democratic members of the House of Representatives known as “The Squad,” and then in the Senate by Senator Paul Rand (R-Ky.).

The funding was eventually approved as part of a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill in March.