Israel tests ‘Iron Beam’ laser gun – the brainchild of doctor dubbed ‘Q’ designed to blast rockets out of the sky

ISRAEL’S military has successfully tested an incredible new laser gun defence system designed to shoot enemy missiles out of the sky.

The experimental Iron Beam is the brainchild of a doctor dubbed Israel’s equivalent to MI6’s Q, who is also behind Israel’s Iron Dome.

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With a 100-kilowatt laser beam and a range of 7km, the Iron Beam destroys missiles with ‘pinpoint accuracy’Credit: Ministry of Defense
The Iron Beam is the brainchild of Brigadier General (res) Dr Danny Gold

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The Iron Beam is the brainchild of Brigadier General (res) Dr Danny GoldCredit: Alamy

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The new defence system destroys incoming rockets using beams of light, adding a “new dimension” to the already very effective Israeli Iron Dome defence system which protects the country against short-range rockets regularly launched by the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Dr Danny Gold, the scientific genius behind both air defence systems, said the new laser had been “played with” throughout the Gaza war.

He told The Telegraph: “We got authorisation one year ago to go to full-scale development and bring the system to the field. We will finish the job in numerous years… I can’t tell you exactly when.

“And once in a while we play with the current toolkit that we have. If we have the opportunity of people shooting at us, we can expand the testing.”

Pressure is mounting for Israel to strengthen its air defences, as war looms in the north and 160,000 Hezbollah rockets are directed at Tel Aviv.

In what Dr Gold called a “very good test” run of the Iron Beam’s effectiveness, a drone took off and the Iron Beam laser pointed at the target.

A beam of light was then fired at the drone and cut through its wing, sending it plummeting to the ground.

Dr Gold, a brigadier general who heads up Israel’s Defence Research and Development Directorate in the defence ministry, said the Iron Dome was 90 per cent successful at stopping incoming attacks.

The new laser system is expected to work alongside it, and at a lower cost – although it only works when the skies are clear.

While each missile fired by the Iron Dome costs about $100,000 (£80,000), to “shoot light is nothing,” Dr Gold explained.

He added: “It is the price of electricity.”

Israel-Palestine conflict Rafah airstrike aftermath

Israel’s former prime minister Naftali Bennett estimated in 2022 that each Iron Beam interception would cost about $2.

Dr Gold said that the Iron Dome is only part of the shield that currently covers Israel.

It sits below David’s Sling, designed to destroy enemy aircraft and medium- to long-range rockets fired from up to 200 miles away, and Arrow 2 and Arrow 3, which protect Israel from ballistic missiles fired by the likes of Iran.

Arrow 3 was deployed successfully for the first time in November, intercepting a missile fired at Israel by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

News of the Iron Beam’s progress comes as Israel gears up to launch would could be a devastating ground invasion inside the refugee-filled Gazan city of Rafah.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to crush the “last bastion” of Hamas terrorists, who he claims are hunkered down in the city.

He said that sending troops into the “final terrorist holdout” of Rafah was necessary to winning the four-month-old battle against Hamas.

Meanwhile, the terror group warned today that any offensive into Rafah would “blow up” the ongoing hostage negotiations.

Netanyahu is facing mounting calls not to attack the city that borders Egypt as it has become the last refuge for Palestinians fleeing Israel’s relentless bombardment elsewhere in the coastal enclave.

Over half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have crowded into Rafah to escape the fighting and are packed into sprawling tent camps and UN-run shelters.

Israel’s defence systems

AS A close ally of the United States, Israel shares some of the most advanced American technologies.

These are some of the defence strategies it has employed to protect itself, particularly against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

Arrow 2

  • Three batteries deployed
  • Mobile/ground-based platform

Arrow 3

  • Three batteries deployed
  • Mobile/ground-based platform

David’s Sling

  • Currently being deployed
  • Deployed from ground, naval, or aerial platform

Iron Dome

  • Ten batteries deployed
  • Stationary/ground-based platform

Patriot/PAC-2

  • Three batteries deployed
  • Mobile/ground-based platform

Green Pine radar (EL/M 2080)

  • Two deployed
  • Transportable/ground-based platform
An Israeli missile launched from the Iron Dome defence missile system attempts to intercept a rocket

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An Israeli missile launched from the Iron Dome defence missile system attempts to intercept a rocketCredit: AFP
The Iron Dome is 90 per cent successful, according to Dr Gold

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The Iron Dome is 90 per cent successful, according to Dr GoldCredit: Dan Charity
The Dome will be aided, not replaced, by the Beam

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The Dome will be aided, not replaced, by the BeamCredit: Dan Charity


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