Israel has unveiled a laser defense system that it says will be able to shoot down rockets and artillery shells with a high-energy beam.
The system, known as Iron Beam, was shown yesterday for the first time at the annual Singapore Air Show. The Israeli defense company that developed Iron Beam, Rafael, said it would become operational next year.
If so, it will be the first operational laser weapon in the world. Iron Beam is designed to deal with short-range threats such as rockets, mortar and artillery shells, and drones coming from Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Its maximal interception range is 4.5 miles, too short a distance for other systems to be effective. It would vital to the security of towns and kibbutz settlements along the border that lie within that range. American funding was involved in development of the system. Read more.