Israel has successfully tested its new laser-based defense system

And it can shoot down an incoming missile for just $3.50.
Ameya Paleja
The Iron Beam in action.Israel's Ministry of Defense/Twitter

Close to a year after the conflict marred the Gaza Strip in May last year, Israel's Ministry of Defense has tested its new laser-based missile defense system called Iron Beam, AP News reported

During the conflict last year, Israel's forces had relied on the Iron Dome system to protect its territory from incoming aerial threats. With a reported accuracy of 90 percent, the aerial defense system not only blocked aerial threats but also inspired the U.S. military to buy these systems and South Korea to develop something similar of its own. 

Iron Dome: Too expensive to deploy

Apart from its unique capabilities, the Iron Dome system is quite expensive to deploy. As Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the media, a rocket launched from the country's adversary costs a few hundred dollars while Israeli defense using the Iron Dome costs the country tens of thousands of dollars. 

The Ministry of Defence, therefore, has decided to move to a laser-based interception system that is equally accurate but costs only a few dollars to fire. Bennet pegged the price of each strike to a measly $3.50. This is the same rationale being used by the U.S. military as it develops its own directed energy weapons to counter aerial threats. 

While the details of the effectiveness of the Iron Beam have not been revealed, the system test demonstrated its effectiveness against a wide range of aerial threats. 

The tests were carried out last month in the Negev Desert and the system is expected to be pushed into service within a year's time, AP News reported. When ready, the system will be deployed on land, at sea as well as in the air, ministry officials added. 

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