An Israeli team has developed a laser system that can destroy balloons and drones whilst being safe enough to use in urban environments.

The technology means that Israel now has an effective way of countering the ongoing terror attacks from Gaza where Hamas terrorists fly explosive devices into Israel attached to balloons. The system is also safe enough to use in airports, meaning the drone attacks on Heathrow Airport may one day be a thing of the past.

The Jerusalem post reports:

The system was developed by Prof. Amiel Ishaaya at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev after incendiary balloons started being launched into Israel in 2018, setting fire to farmland and causing widespread damage. Realizing that no one was looking into a way to prevent the balloons from posing a threat, Ishaaya, an expert on lasers, contacted industry experts. Together, they developed the Lahav-Or, or Light Blade defense system.

“We just worked on a laser system for cutting thick plastic for greenhouses. Kites and balloons are made of similar materials,” he recalled.

Together with Dr. Rami Aharoni and the backing of Border Police commander Yaakov (Kobi) Shabtai, Ishaaya founded OptiDefense to develop the system, working on a shoe-string budget of just a few million shekels to develop a prototype within a year.

Attack drones are becoming increasingly common threats, but at the moment require a communication link to either their handler or a GPS system in order to operate, meaning that they can be downed by electronic jamming systems – known as a “soft kill.” Future generations of drones are expected to do away with this weakness and operate completely autonomously. In order to neutralize the threat, a “hard kill” option would need to be employed to shoot the drone out of the air. This is where the Lahav-Or system comes in.

“In order to operate most high-powered laser defense systems, the airspace needs to be cleared for many kilometers around so the laser does not accidentally blind anyone. Our system operates on a lower frequency which makes it safe for urban environments. Airports, for example, could station our systems around to provide complete coverage without endangering any pilots or passengers,” says Ishaaya.

Other applications could include defending public events such as speeches or concerts. The system’s range is several kilometers.

Subscribe to start receiving FREE TORCH magazines from CUFI UK

Related Articles:

Bulgarian court jails Hezbollah duo for life over 2012 bus bombing on Israelis

A Bulgarian court on Monday sentenced two men to life in prison over a deadly 2012 bus bomb attack on Israeli tourists at the country’s Burgas airport. The attack in July 2012 killed five Israelis,...

PA quits chairing Arab League meetings in protest against peace deals

The Palestinian Authority has stepped down from a key Arab League role in protest at the regional bloc's failure to take a stand against Israeli-Arab deals, an official said...

Fatah and Hamas agree to hold Palestinian elections in next six months

Fatah, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, the terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, have agreed to hold elections for all Palestinians within the next six months....

Erdogan gives offensive anti-Semitic speech at UN, causing Israeli ambassador to walk out

CUFI's Erick Stakelbeck breaks down a disturbing recent speech by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which he directly threatened France and Greece--two of Turkey's fellow NATO...

Bahrain’s King at UN says peace with Israel “sends civilised message” to world

Bahrain’s establishment of relations with Israel is a “civilized message”, affirming the country’s commitment for a just and comprehensive peace for all peoples in the...

We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.