Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has developed a new mobile high-energy laser weapon system (HELWS) called new Iron Beam, designed to destroy targets by irradiation using a directed high energy (HE) laser beam.
Reuters cites a defence industry official as saying that the new missile shield is expected to be operational in Israel next year to counter short-range rockets and mortar bombs.
Capable of striking threats that fly on too small a trajectory to be engaged efficiently by Iron Dome, the new system will have a wide range of applications ranging from engagement of airborne targets, acting as a counter rocket, artillery, mortars (C-RAM) to counter-unmanned aerial vehicles (C-UAVs) or surface-based targets, according to Defence Update.
The HELWS’s elements will be introduced in February at the Singapore Airshow while additional details and system-representative elements will be demonstrated at the Eurosatory exhibition scheduled to be held in June 2014.
Rafael Air Superiority Systems Division marketing and business development director Joseph Horowitz told Defense Update that Iron Beam features a solid–state laser interceptor to engage targets at very short range, below the levels where the Iron Dome is currently employed.
“At the Singapore Airshow we are introducing our Iron Dome and MIC4AD air-defense integration system and a new system called ‘Iron Beam’, comprising a new C-RAM defense capability employing directed energy weapon,” Horowitz added.
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