Israel will build a “laser-wall” air defence system to protect itself from drone and missile attacks, according to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, speaking at the INSS 15th Annual International Conference in Tel Aviv on February 1, 2022.
“In about a year, the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) will launch a laser interception system,” he said. “At first experimentally and later it will become operational. First in the south and then elsewhere. This will allow us, in the medium to long term, to surround Israel with a laser wall that protects us from missiles, rockets, UAVs and other threats. In fact, it will take away the strongest card the enemy has against us.”
“This new generation of Israeli air defence could also serve our friends in the region who are also exposed to severe threats from Iran and its proxies,” he said. ” This is another way in which we will create assets, use them and give what we have to the world in order to gain support, create alliances and become even stronger.”
In June 2021 Israel’s Directorate of Defense R&D, Elbit Systems and the IAF reported they had “successfully intercepted several UAVs using an airborne High-Power Laser Weapon System (HPL-WS). The UAVs were intercepted at various ranges and flight altitudes. According to a Ministry of Defence press release:
“This method of airborne interception has many advantages, including a low cost per interception, the ability to effectively intercept long-range threats at high altitudes regardless of weather conditions, and the ability to defend vast areas. The airborne, High-Power Laser System will complement Israel’s multi-tier missile defense array, which include the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow missile interceptor systems. This system will increase the effectiveness of air defense against existing and future threats in the region.”
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(Image: Israeli Ministry of Defence)