Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced that it successfully intercepted multiple drones during a test of the new laser-based air defense system.
The Defense Ministry revealed Thursday that a laser air defense system it is developing successfully shot down drones, rockets, mortars, and anti-tank missiles in the first series of tests last month.
According to the head of the ministry’s research and development team, Brig. Gen. (res.) Yaniv Rotem, the tests were conducted at “challenging” ranges and timings.
“The use of a laser is a ‘game changer’ and the technology is simple to operate and proves to be economically viable,” he said.
In a video released by the ministry, the laser-based system can be seen intercepting a rocket, a mortar, and a drone at an undisclosed location in southern Israel’s Negev desert, in March of this year.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Israel has become one of the first countries to succeed in developing powerful laser technology at operational standards that can carry out interceptions in operational scenarios.
“Energy-based weapons with a powerful laser is, in my opinion, a very significant game-changer,” Gantz said, adding that the system “will contribute to the denial of critical enemy capabilities in all arenas.”
While Gantz said that it will still take time before it is fully operational, “for the first time ever a powerful laser system has intercepted distant targets. This achievement is because of Israeli innovation, the defense establishment, and the industries that have come together to provide an umbrella of security for the citizens of Israel.”