Israeli media are reporting that Israel's "Iron Beam" directed energy weapon has successfully intercepted a rocket fired at a target in Israel. The Iron Beam is a 100 kW high-energy laser capable of engaging missiles, rockets, artillery projectiles, and drones. The report comes from the military and security correspondent Israel's Channel 14 news.
Report: Israel's laser-based air defence system (Iron Beam) successfully intercepted a rocket during recent days of fighting. https://t.co/pXP2EfUOuS— FJ (@Natsecjeff) November 20, 2023
We published in the edition: For the first time in the world, a laser system developed in Israel succeeded in intercepting a rocket launched at Israel during the fighting. After News 14 reported the deployment of the experimental system, now came the happy news - the system managed to make a successful interception.
If the reports are true, this would be the first-ever operational use of a directed-energy weapon and would mark a quantum shift in the missile vs. interceptor struggle that arguably began with Reagan's "Star Wars" speech in 1983.
Israel has hinted that they would make Iron Beam operational for the past few days, even though the original deployment was scheduled for 2025.
"Magen Or," the Israeli rocket interception system, which utilizes a high-powered laser, will soon undergo a series of tests under the conditions of actual combat in the southern part of the country. "Magen Or" (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.
In my Ukraine Updates, I've posted about the financial problem of using a surface-to-air missile or MANPADS costing tens of thousands of dollars to shoot down a multi-hundred dollar quadrocopter drone. Iron Beam's estimated $3 per shot changes the economics of area air defense.