Video: Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office
The Directorate of Defense R&D in the Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported that together with Elbit Systems and the IAF, it had successfully intercepted several UAVs using an airborne High-Power Laser Weapon System (HPL-WS). The UAVs were intercepted at various ranges and flight altitudes.
"I would like to congratulate the Directorate for Defense R&D, Elbit Systems and the IAF on the technological breakthrough they have achieved. Today you have brought us closer to yet another important milestone in the development of the multi-tier defense array of the State of Israel and it is significant both in terms of cost-effectiveness and defense capabilities. The laser system will add a new layer of protection at greater ranges and in facing a variety of threats – securing the State of Israel while saving the costs of interception. I am confident that Israel’s defense industry will succeed in this important development program, and I will personally work together with the entire defense establishment to ensure its success," said Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, following the trial.
Testing was conducted under the guidance of the Directorate of Defense R&D in the Israel Ministry of Defense. The device was installed on an aircraft and tested in a series of wide-ranging scenarios. It successfully intercepted and destroyed all of the UAVs that were launched during the trial. The ability to intercept and destroy airborne threats is groundbreaking and offers a strategic advantage to the air defense capabilities of the State of Israel. This game-changing exercise was conducted in a testing field in the center of Israel, in close cooperation with the IAF and the “Yanat” unit.
Israel is among the first countries in the world to achieve and demonstrate such capabilities. This test series is the first phase in a multi-year program led by the Directorate of Defense R&D and Elbit Systems to develop a laser system against a variety of long-range threats.
This method of airborne interception has many advantages, including the low cost of interception, ability to effectively intercept long-range threats at high altitudes regardless of weather conditions, and the capacity to defend vast areas. The new technology will complement Israel’s multi-tier missile defense array, which include the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow missile interceptor systems. This system will increase the effectiveness of Israel's air defenses against existing and future threats in the region.
“The Directorate of Defense R&D in the Ministry of Defense, Elbit and the IAF have completed a series of tests employing a powerful, airborne laser system. We successfully intercepted several UAVs in the air, within a range of more than 1km. This is a groundbreaking technological achievement critical for further development of our airborne High-Power Laser System," said Head of Research and Development in the DDR&D, Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem.
“We are proud to spearhead the development of this strategic capability together with the Ministry of Defense and the IAF. The trials were successful thanks to a range of unique technological assets. We believe that the use of a high-power laser to carry out low-cost airborne interception of rockets and hostile unmanned aircraft, closer to their launching areas and away from population centers, offers a significant change in Israel’s defense capabilities," said General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR, Oren Sabag.