JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel’s Defense Ministry revealed on Wednesday it will now begin using a powerful new laser technology to intercept missiles and protect citizens from terrorism.
The Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) said high-energy lasers can deter a variety of threats. It marks a monumental shift in how Israel will defend itself.
“We are entering a new age of energy warfare in the air, land and sea,” said DDR&D Head Brig. Gen Yaniv Rotem. “The R&D investments made by the DDR&D in the last years have placed the State of Israel among the leading countries in the field of high-energy laser systems. Throughout the year 2020 we will conduct a demo of our capabilities."
The DDR&D has launched three new programs for the development of laser demo systems.
They include the development of a ground-based laser system to complement the Iron Dome missile defense system, a platform-mounted system to aid troops on the ground, and another system mounted on an air platform to intercept threats above the clouds and for the defense of wide-open areas.
The Jerusalem Post reports the defense ministry has been working on the breakthrough technology for more than 10 years. The lasers have proven successful in intercepting mortar shells, antitank missiles, and drones.
Rotem explained that the lasers are cheaper than missile interceptors, can overcome environmental factors like clouds and dust storms, and never run out.
“This is a weapon that you can’t see or hear,” Rotem said. “During a war, missile interceptors will at one point run out, but with this system, as long as you have electricity, you have a never-ending supply,” he said.
The Defense Ministry believes these new high-energy precision lasers will help keep Israelis safe from a barrage of missiles from the north and the south.
“This is a dramatic solution to rocket fire,” said Dubi Oster, head of the DDR&D Optronics Department.