Israeli defense industry and military have released new footage showing new series of tests of the new laser system.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the demonstration was carried out by the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Research and Development (DDR&D, or MAFAT in Hebrew) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
During the tests, which were carried out over the past several weeks in southern Israel, the system accurately intercepted unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s), mortars, rockets and anti-tank missiles in different scenarios.
“We’re at a historic moment in the world of weaponry,” said Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem, head of the Defense Ministry’s weapons development administration, which developed the system alongside Rafael and Elbit. “For the first time, an energy weapon actually works.”
“Our mission was clear: To show that it works before the Passover holiday with all the criteria that we set,” said Rotem, adding that the series of experiments have allowed Israel to enter a “whole new era” of energy-based weapons systems.
IMOD’s DDR&D and Rafael successfully completed ground-breaking tests with a high-power laser interception system against steep-track threats. The demonstrator successfully intercepted UAVs, mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles in multiple scenarios. pic.twitter.com/DhHzCaGM8P
— Ministry of Defense (@Israel_MOD) April 14, 2022
“No one in the world has shown such capabilities. The State of Israel is the first to carry out a live firing attempt. We are in an age of new types of weapons – energy-based weapons. We are there,” he said.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Israel has become one of the first countries to succeed in developing powerful laser technology at operational standards that can carry out interceptions in operational scenarios.
“Energy-based weapons with a powerful laser is, in my opinion, a very significant game-changer,” Gantz said, adding that the system “will contribute to the denial of critical enemy capabilities in all arenas.”
While Gantz said that it will still take time before it is fully operational, “for the first time ever a powerful laser system has intercepted distant targets. This achievement is because of Israeli innovation, the defense establishment, and the industries that have come together to provide an umbrella of security for the citizens of Israel.”