Israel has conducted the first successful tests of a state-of-the-art laser interception system, dubbed 'Iron Beam,' the Defense Ministry announced Thursday afternoon.

The tests involved a series of experiments of a laser ground interception system against fast-moving threats in a variety of scenarios and targets.

The successful tests represent a breakthrough in the integration of laser technology into the defense system of the State of Israel. The demonstrations, developed in collaboration between the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological and Rafael, demonstrated interception of shrapnel, rockets, anti-tank missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, in a variety of complex scenarios.

Israel is among the first countries in the world to succeed in developing powerful laser technology to operational standards for defense and demonstrate interception in an operational scenario. The laser is an effective, accurate, easy-to-operate tool that is significantly cheaper than any other existing means of protection.

This series of tests is the first phase in a multi-year experimental program by the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure and the defense industries to develop a terrestrial and aerial laser system for dealing with threats at various ranges and altitudes. The development plan is led by the R&D Division in the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure. Rafael is the main developer of the system, in collaboration with Elbit Systems.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz expressed satisfaction with the initial tests and said that "about a month ago we announced a dramatic move, the execution of a huge order for the development and production of a laser defense system. Today this step becomes an international achievement. For the first time ever, a powerful laser system, from Blue and White development, has intercepted targets from a distance."

"This achievement is a product of Israeli innovation, the defense system and the industries that come together and provide an umbrella of security and protection for the citizens of Israel. Every effort will be made to make the system operational soon and enable an effective, cheap and innovative defense umbrella. A protective umbrella that will save lives - and allow a wide maneuvering space in the face of an attack by our enemies."

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in response to the successful tests: “We have successfully completed a series of tests on our new 'Iron Beam' laser air defense system. This may sound like science-fiction, but it’s real."

"This state-of-the-art laser system is capable of firing laser beams that intercept incoming UAVs, mortars, rockets and anti-tank missiles. It’s a game changer.

"This the world’s first energy-based weapons system, that has proven to actually work. The Iron Beam’s interceptions are silent, they’re invisible and they only cost around $3.50. We are turning the tables on terror.

"I would like to thank the Ministry of Defense and the defense industries on this huge achievement,” the Prime Minister concluded.