Surprised by the massive rocket attack carried out by the Hamas movement, Israel will deploy the Iron Beam, a laser cannon intended to reinforce possible deficiencies in its “Iron Dome” defense system.
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This is what we call in military language a saturation effect attack. During its offensive against Israel on October 7, the Hamas movement fired, sometimes in just a few minutes, hundreds of rockets in order to saturate the Jewish state’s anti-missile defense system. In all, at least 3,000 of these cheap, short-range rockets were fired in 48 hours. With its cutting-edge technology, the latter was nevertheless reputed to ensure the destruction of 97% of threats. Surprised by this attack which it did not see coming due to the absence of digital exchanges from the attackers to prepare it, the State draws a new defensive weapon with the Iron Beam. This is a laser cannon intended to fill holes in the racket and intercept rockets and other munitions that may reach the territory. Unlike the very expensive “Iron Dome” munitions, the cost of neutralizing these cheap rockets will be minimized with this laser beam. So each shot would only cost a few euros.
A system that hits the mark every time
Developed by the Ministry of Defense and the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Iron Beam was planned to be operational at the end of this year. It is therefore a little in advance that it will be deployed. It will also be the first weapon system of this power to be operational. It combines an aerial detection system, locking and tracking the target, and firing a laser beam with a power of 100 kW to neutralize it. The maneuver would last less than five seconds. The range of the laser beam would be seven kilometers according to its manufacturer. It could soon be extended to ten kilometers.
Just like Israel, several countries are seeking to equip themselves with these defensive laser systems. The United States is carrying out numerous tests and wants to amplify the power of the beam to increase its range and destroy targets larger than drones or missiles. Thus, Lockheed Martin recently announced that it is boosting its experimental laser cannon to increase it from 300 to 500 kW. Still for the American army, Northrop Grumman has just delivered compact laser weapons to the American army, but with a power limited to 10 kW. France also tested a laser beam capable of destroying small drones on a moving frigate.
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