According to the head of Israel’s Space Agency, Reserve General and Professor Yitzchak Ben Yisroel, Israel will have the ability to shoot down rockets by utilizing a laser in less than a year’s time should it be given the proper budgets for such an endeavor.
Ben Yisroel made his comments on Facebook in a post on Wednesday, and on Thursday morning was interviewed by FM-103 radio regarding the topic.
“The problem is that we were waiting for a breakthrough that would help us convert the laser from light to something with a much higher density that is soluble and has enough firepower to take down rockets. About a year ago, we had that breakthrough in Israel in this field, and it is simply unprecedented anywhere else in the world,” Ben Yisroel said.
The system can apparently be placed on the back of a truck and travel around from place to place. The system can locate, lock-on to, and shoot down a short-range rocket, or even a mortar shell.
In terms of shooting down hundreds or even thousands of short-range rockets, the new laser system would be a far cheaper option to the current rocket-to-rocket takedowns that Israel is used to dealing with from Hamas. The system may be expensive to develop, but the cost for using it is much cheaper than using the Iron Dome. There are of course limitations to the device, but Ben Yisroel did not specify what those limitations were. We do know that the system cannot be used against long-range missiles for a variety of reason, but with regards to short-range missiles, the laser option will be a far cheaper option, and it would add a layer of protection working in conjunction with rocket-to-rocket systems such as the Iron Dome, Magic Wand and The Arrow.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)