The press service of the Israel Defense Forces has authorized the publication of information about the completion of a series of experiments on destroying targets in the air with a laser beam.
For the first time in Israel, a series of experiments were carried out to destroy targets using laser beams emitted from a light aircraft.
The aircraft was equipped with the power system necessary to create the laser beam, as well as a tracking system and sensors that allowed it to detect and track unmanned aircraft.
After detecting the target, the aircraft hit it with the laser beam, which for a short period of time (10 to 20 seconds) heated the target to the point where its main components melted, after which, it fell down. A total of 10 drones were destroyed in a series of experiments using the laser beam.
This innovative and completely revolutionary development is the very first of its kind in the world. It is known that in the world, there are technological giants developing laser weapons, but none of them has demonstrated so far such a successful ability to hit targets with a relatively small laser system mounted on a light aircraft.
The U.S. company Boeing has been developing a heavy-duty laser that is mounted on transport aircraft for many years. Meanwhile, ground based laser systems developed around the world are almost all based on a chemical laser, which requires a heavy and bulky system that is difficult to move in the field and cannot be mounted on light aircraft.
Israel, on the other hand, has made a breakthrough in this area in recent years. The Israeli laser does not use “chemical” energy, but electrical energy, which is much easier to produce and store.
In general, by the grace and miracles of the Almighty Israel is famous for its long “tradition” of successful developments of innovative weapon systems, most of which are lighter and much more compact than their foreign competitors produced by major countries, but have the same or even better characteristics. For example, Israeli satellites from the “Ofek” series, are considered among the best in the world in terms of their performance, while weighing much less than any similar American or Russian recon satellite.
For the first time the breakthrough in the field of laser weapons in Israel became known about a year and a half ago. At that time, its developers reported that they had managed to overcome one of the most fundamental limitations of laser weapons — interference caused by the atmosphere.
In addition there is the interference caused by clouds and heavy weather conditions. It’s possible that this was the reason why the laser in the current experiment was mounted on the aircraft which is able to fly over the clouds and hence overcome such interference (in contrast to laser systems mounted on the ground and therefore seriously limited in their effectiveness by clouds).
Installing the laser system on the aircraft ( rather than on the ground) has another advantages — the laser can be moved quickly from place to place and can be used for defense in different areas. In this way, it is possible to achieve earlier destruction of the target, e.g., to detonate the missile while it is still accelerating, when it is just starting to fly up. In addition, the protected area can be also expanded under these circumstances. Finally, such aircraft could also be sent to protect ground troops fighting on the enemy territory.
Elbit and Rafael also reported that they are jointly developing a laser system that could be mounted on vehicles, and used to protect large groups of maneuvering vehicles from missiles and other weapons. A ground-based laser system is also being developed that would complement the “Iron Dome” and, in good weather conditions, could provide accurate and rapid destruction of targets at minimal cost (compared to the relatively expensive anti-missile rockets that are used today).
Besides, we can also conclude from Defense Department publications that they plan the future development of the entire laser systems capable of destroying heavy missiles like the “Scud” and the “Shihab”
In my opinion it is very likely that the defense industry is also developing offensive laser weapons which can hit aircraft, ground vehicles, and ships of the enemy with the speed of light (i.e. the speed of the laser beam) and make precision strikes. And it seems that there are literally “no limits” to the use of such systems — as soon as laser weapons enhance their combat effectiveness — probably after 2-3 years — they may be used both for defense and for offensive purposes.
It is worth noting that laser weapons essentially use “light” — a focused and energetically very powerful beam of light. At the same time, Chassidism regards “light” to be of great significance. Since the divine light of the Creator is what creates and forms us from nothing at every moment, what fills the worlds around us and our lives through Torah study and observance of the commandments, as it says in the Solomon Book of Proverbs: “For the commandment is the candle, and the Torah is the light.”
The divine and holy light is the “secret weapon,” and the most powerful of all, for the people of Israel. Now it is brought to life in another — material dimension — in a laser weapon — a weapon of light, that Israel became the first in the world to learn to use practically, and in doing so, by the grace and miracles of the Almighty, quite successfully.