A portion of Israel’s media may have reported that the country’s defense minister gave permission to use the country’s new anti-missile system called “Iron Beam” in Operation Iron Swords against Hamas in Gaza, but the laser superweapon reminiscent of movies Hollywood’s is not perfected and probably lags far behind even the “Iron Dome”, the most advanced system in the world.
Israel says the system in question has a range of 7 to 10 kilometers and is designed to locate and neutralize small targets even the size of a coin.
However, despite a lot of advertising even by the former Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, who said that this weapon changes the facts not only in Israel but also in the whole world, the system seems to have serious problems and for now only one advantage, that of lower cost.
Analysts with extensive knowledge of weapons systems report that the Iron Beam has a short range, is sensitive to weather conditions – so not operational in November and December – and the beam it emits (100 kW, which is as much as the electricity consumption of a US household for three days) weakens as it moves away from its source.
It takes 5 seconds to hit the target and for this reason it is considered slower than the existing Iron Dome. Also, compared to American lasers, its range is 50% shorter.
However, the extremely low cost to take down each target makes Iron Beam more attractive than Iron Dome. The new system can take down a target at a cost of $2,000, while the Iron Dome costs $50,000.
In any case, it seems that unfortunately Hamas caught up with Israel, before it further developed this system by launching more than 8000 rockets from October 7th until today.