February 03, 2014
Credit: Rafael/Shaul Golan
Rafael is developing a high-energy, laser-based weapon system to supplement its Iron Dome Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) system, offering a more affordable method to engage salvos of rockets and mortars fired at short range.
“The Iron Beam weapon system enables delivery of scalable levels of energy at tactical and strategic distances while generating entirely new effects in the battlefield,” a Rafael official told Aviation Week.
The new weapon system also will be able to defeat enemy unmanned aerial vehicles while avoiding damage to friendly aircraft and UAVs.
The new technology, currently at TRL-6, is expected to mature in three years, providing the Israel Defense Forces with the first implementation of futuristic high-energy weapon.
Rafael is unveiling the first details of the Iron Beam system at the Singapore Airshow in February, and plans to formally introduce the new system at the Eurosatory exhibition in June.
“At the Singapore Airshow, we are introducing the 'Iron Shield'—an integrated system comprising an air-defense/C-RAM capability comprising the Iron-Dome, Iron-Beam” and Modular Integrated C4 Air and Missile Defense (MIC4AD) system, Joseph Horowitz, director of marketing and business development at Rafael's Air Superiority Systems Division told Aviation Week. “The Iron Shield employs a solid-state laser interceptor designed to engage targets at very short range, below the levels where we currently employ the Iron Dome.”
Iron Beam is designed to minimize collateral damage, environmental impact and remain friendly to nearby air traffic, Horowitz added.