Iron Beam

- , September 18, 2018

Quick Facts

Variants None
Role and Mobility Short-Range Laser Air Defense; Road-Mobile
Interceptors and Range High Energy Laser; 7 km

Air Defense Radar

Mobile Surveillance and Tracking System

Targets Rockets, Artillery, Mortars, and UAVs
Status/Exports In Development; N/A
Designer/Producer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems


Iron Beam is a directed energy laser air defense system designed to complement the Iron Dome missile defense systems deployed in Israel.[i]The system uses a high-energy fiber optic laser to destroy airborne objects within four to five seconds of firing.[ii]Current power levels of the lasers are in the tens of kilowatts and are expected to increase for greater destructive capability.[iii]

The system consists of an air defense radar, a command and control unit, and two High Energy Laser (HEL) systems. It is designed to target short-range rockets, artillery, and mortars.[iv]

It was first revealed to the public at the 2014 Air Show in Singapore.[v]

Strategic Implications

 Iron Beam will be used to complement the Iron Dome system by targeting threats that fly on too short a trajectory for Iron Dome to intercept.[vi]Because it uses directed energy interceptors, the system will cost less to operate than a conventional kinetic option would. Other benefits include an unlimited organization, lower operational costs, and less required manpower.[vii]Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the developer of the system has said that test data shows a success rate of more than 90%.[viii]


February 2014:Iron Beam is unveiled to the public at the Singapore Air Show.[ix]

2009:Development begins on the Iron Beam.[x]

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