Jerusalem: Israel has successfully completed the first tests of a new laser-based system designed to intercept drones, missiles and other aerial threats, Israel’s Defence Ministry has said.
In the first-phase tests, the system was able, for the first time, to intercept drones, mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles, the Defence Ministry added on Thursday in a statement.
“The program aims to develop a high-power ground and aerial laser system equipped to deal with long-range, high-intensity threats,” it said.
The development of the system has been led by the Defence Ministry’s Research and Development Division, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Elbit Systems, two Israeli weapons and security companies, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the Ministry, following the tests, Israel became “one of the first countries in the world to successfully develop high-power laser technology at an operational standard with operational interception capabilities.”
“Today marks the first time that a high-power, Israeli-made laser system successfully intercepted various targets, constituting a breakthrough on a global scale,” Defence Minister Benny Gantz wrote on Twitter.
Israel’s goal is to develop “an efficient, inexpensive, and innovative” system and to bring it to operational status “as soon as possible,” Gantz added.
Yaniv Rotem, Head of the Defence Ministry’s Research and Development Division, said in a statement that the laser “is a game-changer thanks to its easily operated system and significant economic advantages.”
“The next step is to continue the development and initial system deployment within Israel,” he said, adding that the Ministry plans to station multiple laser transmitters along Israel’s borders over the next decade.
The Ministry said the laser system has been developed as “an effective and economically efficient addition” to the country’s multi-tiered air defence array, which includes the short-range anti-rocket Iron Dome system; David’s Sling, a medium to long-range missiles defence system; and the long-range Arrow-3.