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Israel Working to Deploy Laser Defense System By Next Year

From 6.2 miles out, the new weapon can destroy a target the size of a coin

Israel is installing a laser defense system, which is expected to be installed by next year, as the country continues to explore more ways to protect against missiles, shells, and rocket attacks.

“One year from now – Israel will be the first country to have partial laser protection. In two years there may be complete protection – against missiles, shells, rockets, or anything else. This will protect us both in the South and in the North,” Rafael Advanced Defense Systems chairman Yuval Steinitz said in a recent interview quoted by The Jerusalem Post.

Following two decades of research and development, Rafael has now figured out how to limit the focus of the beam enough to destroy targets are great distances.

“We actually can focus the beam to the diameter of a coin in a 10-kilometer range,” Ran Gozali, executive vice president of Rafael’s land and naval division,  said at the International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

“When you do surface-to-air interception, you have air turbulence effects that diffuse the rays,” he explained. “We compensate for it in the transmitter to really focus the beam on the target for multiple seconds.”

So far, in 2023, 34 people have been killed, and there have been nearly 200 shooting attacks in Judea and Samaria, according to Heritage Florida Jewish News. In all of 2022, terrorists killed 31 people and initiated 281 shooting attacks.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were poured into developing the new high-powered laser, which completed successful live-fire tests, destroying a rocket, a mortar shell, and a drone.

Rafael’s directed-energy weapons will modernize Israel’s Iron Dome defense system and has an estimated 90 percent success rate in shooting down the type of short-range rockets fired by Palestinian militant group Hamas, The Messenger reported.

According to the report, Rafael’s laser technology is so accurate that from a range of 6.2 miles, it can intercept targets as small as the diameter of a coin.

Last December, U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin announced it was partnering with Rafael to create a high-energy laser weapon system based on technology that Rafael was already developing.

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