Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz took advantage of his meeting with US President Joe Biden to ask him for unplanned US aid, worth $4 billion a year, to develop and accelerate production of the modern air defense system known as the Iron Beam, security sources said. in Tel Aviv revealed Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Israeli military showed Biden at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, with footage of drones intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system already in place, and the Iron Beam system, which uses laser technology.
Gantz would personally explain these weapons, including the long-range Arrow, the medium-range David’s Sling, the short-range Iron Dome, and the high-powered Iron Beam laser interception system.
But the Israeli minister mainly focused on the Iron Beam model, saying that it was a complement and not a substitute for the Iron Dome, at a lower cost and with clear efficiency.
Gantz said the time element is very important in this case. “If the necessary hundreds of millions (shekels) are allocated for the final stages of development and the testing phase, we will make great progress in the experimental level and we will be able to introduce the system into the field of war within a few years,” he said.
Israel’s ground-based laser air defense system, codenamed Iron Beam, which is being developed with weapons manufacturer Rafael, is not intended to replace the Iron Dome or other air defense systems in Israel. ‘Israel, but to complement and supplement them, shooting down smaller projectiles and leaving larger ones for the more robust missile batteries, according to the ministry’s research and development team, Brig. General (res.) Yaniv Rotem.
“Since development began, the high-powered laser has proven to be more powerful than the ministry team initially aimed for,” Rotem said, adding that one of its main advantages is that it is cheap and he won’t run out of ammunition.
However, he said laser beams had serious limitations, such as the inability to shoot through clouds.
Therefore, Rotem discovered that the MoD planned to mount the system on aircraft, which would help circumvent this limitation by placing the system above the clouds, although there are still a few years left.