Israel’s Defense Ministry on Wednesday announced that it was developing a laser beam capable of shooting down incoming rockets and small drones, which it plans to test throughout the coming year.
According to the ministry, the development of this laser system was possible due to a recent unspecified “technological breakthrough,” following years of investment in research efforts by defense contractors and academic scientists.
The futuristic defense system is only in the early development stages and won’t be operational in the near future, the ministry said.
The Defense Ministry’s proposed laser beam is meant to complement — not replace — the Iron Dome missile defense system.
The head of the Defense Ministry’s Weapons Development and Technology Infrastructure Administration (MAFAT), Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem, said each firing of the laser would cost approximately one dollar — not including the cost of the system — compared to the tens of thousands of dollars that each Iron Dome interceptor missile costs.