Israel successfully completed the main trial stage of an innovative, first-of-its-kind laser interception system this week. Once it is declared operational, the Iron Beam system will be able to intercept cruise and ballistic missiles, explosive-laden drones, mortar shells and even anti-tank rockets at the speed of light.
“This is a real game changer,” a senior Israeli military official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. The official explained that the system would be operational within a year or two and join the three other anti-missile systems in Israel’s air defense arsenal — Iron Dome, Arrow and David’s Sling — to provide it with the most advanced interception capabilities in the world. “It will create a wall against the missile threat around Israel, strategically changing the face of the Middle East,” the official said.