Magen Or.

Israel deployed Iron Beam laser system on Gaza front, Rafael chairman reveals

Yuval Steinitz confirmed that the system has been deployed for action, but said that it has yet to have been used for interceptions

"Magen Or," the Israeli rocket interception system which utilizes a high-powered laser, has been deployed in the Gaza front in recent months, chairman of Rafael, which develops the system, confirmed on Saturday.
"We deployed 'Magan Or' in the Gaza front for the first time ever," said Rafael chairman Yuval Steinitz in an on-stage interview at an event in the southern city of Beer Sheva on Saturday. "We did not use it for interceptions. However, simply by deploying it we made a leap forward in its development and the ability to put the system into action."
1 View gallery
מערכת מגן אור מערכת לייזר ל יירוט רקטות
מערכת מגן אור מערכת לייזר ל יירוט רקטות
Magen Or.
(Photo: IDF)
Iron Beam represents the next step in Israel's self-defense capabilities: a laser system capable of neutralizing rockets, missiles, or drones from a distance, at zero cost when compared to the Iron Dome.
The operational testing of Magen Or - which is still in the development process - will not compromise the operational effectiveness of Iron Dome, which will be activated whenever launches are detected from the Gaza Strip.
Despite progress in defensive coverage, Steinitz did not sound particularly calm about the possibility of dealing with massive fire from Lebanon in the event of an all-out war against Hezbollah: "I don't like to spread illusions; the coverage is never perfect. A war in the north is a difficult event. The existing systems, Iron Dome and David's Sling, give us good defense. I won't go into the question of how good it is, but, as we saw against Gaza, we have a good defense. However, Hezbollah's firepower is greater than Hamas's. Even with good defense and attack, it is far from perfect."
Steinitz also noted that, in addition to Magan Or, Rafael put many new weapons into use during the war that are now helping the forces in the Gaza Strip: "During the war, we developed new versions of systems and put into operation measures that were developed and are now in daily use in Gaza. I cannot give specific examples. But among other things, very sophisticated sensors, intelligence, and observation measures were under development and assist the forces in the field hour by hour and minute by minute. There are also all kinds of measures in regards to the Hamas tunnels."
The Magen Or system is designed to intercept various threats, including rockets, mortar bombs, drones, and more, all at a cost of the electricity required to operate it. Developers at Rafael categorize Magen Or as a complementary defensive weapon to Iron Dome, which the company also develops and manufactures. These two systems are designed to operate in coordination. Therefore, if the command and control system directs a powerful laser beam towards a target, an Iron Dome interceptor will not be deployed, resulting in savings of approximately $50,000 per Iron Dome interceptor.
Rafael and the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure in the Ministry of Defense are leading the development of this unique and innovative system. The laser beam is invisible and silent, and as envisioned by its developers, it is expected to intercept rockets and mortar bombs while they are still in enemy territory. This approach avoids the need to activate alarms in Israeli cities that are far from the front lines of the conflict.