IDF Lines Up “Iron Beam” Laser Defense

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

Israel plans to deploy a new missile shield known as “Iron Beam” next year which would use a laser to blow up short-range rockets and mortar bombs, a defense industry official said on Sunday.

The system is designed to deal with threats that fly on too small a trajectory to be engaged efficiently by Iron Dome, the Israeli interceptor credited with an 80 percent success rate against rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists.

Both shields are manufactured by state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. While Iron Dome launches radar-guided interceptor rockets, Iron Beam’s laser will super-heat the warheads of shells with ranges of up to 7 4.5 miles.

Rafael said Iron Dome would be formally unveiled at next month’s Singapore Air Show.

Iron Dome is complemented by Arrow II, an Israeli interceptor designed to shoot down ballistic missiles at atmospheric heights.