Israel shoots down drones with world's first 'Airborne Laser Weapon' system

The Israeli military released a video in which they demonstrated a new highly powerful airborne laser weapon system capable of shooting down the drones in midair along with the other flying targets. This airborne laser system is the first of the country developed in collaboration with Elbit Systems Ltd and was installed on the plane equipped with advanced sensors and tracking systems, it can even destroy several drones at various ranges and altitudes.

After the successful test of the new weapon system, Israel’s Ministry of Defense released a video on Twitter (via Insider), in which the laser can be seen burning holes through the drones, officials also said that its prototype might get ready by 2025.

The defense ministry stated that, “This is the first phase in a multi-year program to develop a complicated airborne laser weapon system which will surely strengthen, Israel’s multi-tier defense array, complementing the capabilities of the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow systems.”

This new airborne laser system developed by Elbit, uses a rapid heating process, to destroy airborne targets within “a few seconds,” according to the report. Elbit also makes C-Music – an airborne defense system designed to “blind” incoming missiles before they can strike aircraft.

“This is the first time in the State of Israel, and perhaps in the world, that this was done, and is the groundbreaking technological achievement for us,” said the head of military research Yaniv Rotem to The Jerusalem Post. HE also said that the weapon is “powerful and precise” and can destroy the targets in any type of weather condition.

This current system can destroy drones from a 1 kilometer away, but Rotem hopes to build a 100-kW prototype featuring a 20-kilometer range in the next three to four years. The defense ministry of Israel, along with this new airborne laser system is also collaborating on the development of a ground-based laser weapon capable of taking out aerial targets. These would feature a range of 8 to 10 kilometers, and roll out during or before 2025.

According to the Israeli Ministry of Defense, this airborne laser system for destroying drones makes more sense economically as it fires a laser rather than launching an entire missile.


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