After a series of discussions in recent months, Defense Minister Benny Gantz has approved the allocation hundreds of millions of shekels for the development and production of an operational laser interception system.
Defense Ministry Director General Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amir Eshel will sign the order in the coming days, after which he hopes for an accelerated process for the development of the Magen Or system, which will be installed in the first phase near the Gaza Strip.
The development of the plan will be led by the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure in the Defense Ministry. Rafael will be the main developer of the system, in collaboration with Elbit Systems.
Over the past few months, work has been completed on the groundbreaking technology that enables the deployment of a high-power laser transmitter that can destroy rockets, shrapnel and unmanned aerial vehicles.
In the first phase, hundreds of millions of NIS will be allocated from the defense budget for development and experiments of the system. In the next phase, the defense system is expected to allocate additional hundreds of millions to complete the development process.
This morning, the Minister of Defense toured the Rafael Company complex, together with the head of R&D at Mapat, Brigadier General Yaniv Rotem, the General Manager of Rafael Maj. Gen. (Res.) Sabag, who introduced him to the system developed, following the working meetings that have taken place in recent months.
Subsequently, Minister Gantz approved the progress of the process according to the work plan and the promotion of the order from Rafael.
Laser technology will make it possible to deal with a wide range of threats, including rockets, shrapnel and UAVs, in a light, effective and significantly inexpensive configuration relative to any other means of defense. It will be integrated into the air defense system of the State of Israel and will constitute a complementary capability to the Iron Dome system.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: "Today we are taking a dramatic and important step towards a change in the battlefield, and an upgrade in the security of Israeli residents in the face of the threats that are developing on our borders from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, sponsored by Iran and terrorist organizations. The powerful laser is a strategic change in our defense that will be given to the home front, in the operational flexibility for the IDF and in the strategic flexibility at the political level."
"As in the past, today the Israeli defense system and industries, with resourcefulness, flexibility and groundbreaking technologies, maintain Israel's security superiority and save lives. We will do everything and allocate the necessary resources to complete the process as quickly as possible and according to our plan. Our investment will also lead to great economic gain for the State of Israel and cooperation with many friendly countries in the world," Gantz said.