Watch: Israel Successfully Tests its "Iron Beam" Laser

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by blueapples
Thursday, Apr 14, 2022 - 18:29

If you're anything like the average America then between paying more for gas, food, and housing, you probably think to yourself "where do my tax dollars actually go?" Well, look no further than the State of Israel, which recently unveiled its latest missile defense system. For years, Israel has predicated the functionality of its Iron Dome defense apparatus to US foreign aid. In fact, last year in the wake of another escalation of conflict between Israel and Palestine, Tel Aviv sought an additional $1 billion to fortify the Iron Dome. The request became a point of contention when a provision for the aid was stricken from a spending bill to keep the US Federal Government funded before literally being approved as a stand alone bill within 48 hours.

While the Iron Dome system is one of the most identifiable projects of Israel's military, its continued funding conveys the scope at which the country relies on US tax dollars to fortify the front line of its national defense. As such, the technology behind it has been constantly advanced despite it being successful in its current iteration. The latest advancement in this system is the Iron Beam - a directed-energy weapon that provides an outlook into the future of warfare.

Since being launched in 2011, 2 Iron Dome systems have been deployed in Israel which use anti-rocket missiles to intercept that fall within a range of up to 44 miles from any of the 10 batteries. Although it was heralded at the time of its deployment, Israel had greater sights for the application of military technologies aimed at defending their airspace. In 2014, just 3 years after the Iron Dome's initial deployment, the Israeli Defense Forces ("IDF") announced their vision for the future of the system by debuting the Iron Beam at the Singapore Airshow in 2014. Unlike the Iron Dome's missile-based defense batteries, the Iron Beam is a directed-energy weapon that relies on a fiber laser that can destroy its target within 4 to 5 seconds.

Development of the Iron Beam was tasked to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, a defense technology company owned by the State of Israel itself which also developed the Iron Dome along with multitudes of other missiles from air-to-air and surface-to-air varieties. Rafael has also developed other laser weapons aimed at combating drones while another military contractor named Elbit Systems has provided the IDF with airborne laser systems. Despite those technological achievements, Iron Beam is perhaps the IDF's most advanced weapons system to date. After years of research and development, Iron Beam just passed its first successful test. Now, the intent is to deploy the directed-energy weapons system in the Gaza Strip within the next year to supplement the Iron Dome.

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