Israel’s Iron Beam: A new era in defense technology

Israel’s new laser defense system promises to revolutionize anti-missile and anti-rocket network.

By Yossi Lichtenstadter, World Israel News

Israel is set to revolutionize its defense capabilities with the deployment of a cutting-edge laser weapon system known as the ‘Iron Beam’. This system, which was not expected to enter service for several more years, is being fast-tracked into active combat service.

Potential of Iron Beam

The Iron Beam system is designed to act as the short-range component of the Israeli integrated missile defense system.

It is capable of shooting down incoming threats such as rockets, drones, artillery, and mortar shells. This new technology is expected to significantly strengthen Israel’s air defense capabilities against various threats.

The Iron Beam system uses a fiber laser to destroy airborne targets. It can operate by itself or integrated as part of an air-defense system. The moment the surveillance systems identify a threat, it is tracked by vehicle platforms and eliminated.

Pricing of Iron Beam

One of the main advantages of using a directed energy weapon like the Iron Beam over conventional missile interceptors is the lower cost per shot.

The cost of each interception using the Iron Beam is estimated to be around $2,000 per shot, covering all expenses3. This is in stark contrast to the $100,000 to $150,000 per interceptor firing cost associated with traditional systems.

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Capabilities of Iron Beam

The Iron Beam has a range of up to 4.3 miles and also has the ability to target and take down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It will be the sixth element of Israel’s integrated missile defense system, along with Arrow 2, Arrow 3, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome.

In 2016, a report was released with the Iron Beam laser’s supposed power levels to be at tens of kilowatts.

A later report from 2020 stated that the Iron Beam was thought to have a maximum range of up to 7 km and could destroy missiles, UAVs (drones), and mortar shells approximately four seconds after the twin high-energy fiber-optic lasers connected with their target.

By the end of 2023, energy levels could possibly reach 100 kW or more, and the defense system could focus a beam the size of the diameter of a coin at 6.2 miles.

In conclusion, Israel’s new Iron Beam system represents a significant advancement in defense technology. Its potential for strengthening air defense capabilities, combined with its cost-effectiveness and impressive capabilities, make it a game-changer in modern warfare.