ISRAEL AT WARDid Israel test its new laser system Iron Beam to intercept Hamas missiles?
ISRAEL AT WAR
Did Israel test its new laser system Iron Beam to intercept Hamas missiles?
A few months ago, "Magen Or" (Iron Beam) engineers said that they would test its capabilities in upcoming military conflicts. Yesterday, videos of a supposedly successful interception experiment were published on social networks. Israeli security sources said the videos are fake, but did not issue an official denial
Amid Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas, questions are arising over the activation of the "Magen Or" (Iron Beam) system developed by Israel to intercept rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Social media erupted yesterday with purported video clips depicting Iron Beam interceptions of two rockets launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, targeting cities in southern Israel.
In response to inquiries from the CTech and Calcalist, both the Ministry of Defense and Rafael have issued statements refuting the authenticity of the videos, deeming them fake. However, as of now, neither organization has released an official statement categorically denying the testing of the Iron Beam system during the recent confrontation with Hamas.
A few months ago, Rafael unveiled the system and in an interview published in CTech, Dr. Yochai, chief engineer of the Iron Beam project, said: "We are after a significant and large demonstration experiment to prove the feasibility of removing threats and exploiting technological capabilities developed over the years. In one of the next military conflicts we will take the system to the battlefield. We will test it in real scenarios, we will return home with the data, analyze the numbers and see how we are doing."
The military confrontation that developed in the last few days after the terrorist attack in which murderous Hamas terrorists slaughtered over 1,300 Israeli citizens in one day - is a golden opportunity for the engineers of the system. During the past 10 days, Hamas terrorists launched more than 5,000 rockets and missiles at cities in Israel - most of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile interception system.
More than a hundred engineers from Rafael's Research, Development and Engineering division are currently working on the development of the Iron Beam that will allow the interception of threats such as mortar bombs, rockets, anti-tank missiles, drones, and various other objects, with the precision of a laser, at the speed of light - and at a minimal cost compared to that of the Iron Dome. "We are currently at a peak stage in the full development of the system," said in April this year its chief engineer, Dr. Yochail, who has been working on its development for 17 years.
At least in the first stages of its life, Magen Or will operate alongside the Iron Dome, which recently marked 12 years since its first operational interception. The price of a "Tamir" interceptor missile launched by Iron Dome is about $50,000 and sometimes two of these are launched at one rocket that threatens to hit a populated area to ensure its destruction. On the other hand, the price of interception using a laser beam depends mainly on the electricity tariff and, in any case, is negligible.
According to Maj. Hananel, "the initial benefit of Magen Or is in the dramatic improvement in our position in the economic war and in the management of the 'interception economy'. A laser is simply light, and it is nothing compared to an advanced interceptor missile that costs tens of thousands of dollars. The enemy also knows that we have the Iron Dome. They know about its high interception rates and continue to launch rockets and mortars at Israel because they understand it still causes us to rush us to shelters, disrupts our daily routine and occasionally also hits. The enemy understands that for every such cheap and simple rocket they fire, we launch a super advanced interceptor missile that costs a fortune. The enemy is waging an economic war with us and Magen Or will stop it."