TEL AVIV, Israel: Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett has announced that the country’s laser defense system will become operational in 2022.
Bennett told a security conference that the new generation of technology, known as a “laser wall,” will be available within a year in southern Israel, and will eventually be deployed on air, land and sea, sending a deterrent to archenemy Iran and its proxies.
The lasers are designed to complement Israel’s multilayered defenses against long and medium-range missiles and drones, which include the Iron Dome.
“The economic equation will be reversed; they will invest a lot and we will invest a little. If it is possible to intercept a missile or rocket with just an electric pulse that costs a few dollars, we will have nullified the ring of fire that Iran has set up on our borders,” Bennett told the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
The Iron Dome was launched a decade ago, and the military says it has been a great success, with a 90 percent interception rate against incoming rockets during four wars against militants in the Gaza Strip.
But in his speech, Bennett said the Iron Dome system is limited by its high price per shoot-down, adding that the laser technology will complement the Iron Dome and other systems to meet new threats, noting that in May Hamas fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israel.
“That is an illogical equation. We decided to break this equation,” Bennett said.
He noted that within a year, Israel’s military will begin testing what is designed to become a “laser wall” against missiles, rockets and drones, that could be used against threats from Iran, which has developed long-range missiles capable of striking Israel.