What is Iron Beam?

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What is Iron Beam? Blog Image


Videos have recently surfaced online allegedly showing Israel testing its new laser-based missile defense system, known as Iron Beam.

About Iron Beam

  • The Iron Beam, also known as Magen or Light Shield, is a new laser-based missile defence system developed by Israel.
  • It is a directed-energy weapon air defence system that fires powerful beams of light that can destroy fast-moving projectiles.
  • Built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Iron Beam was first unveiled in 2014.
  • The system can intercept hostile rockets, drones, artillery, and even mortar shells. 
  • Its operational range extends up to 7 km (4.3 miles).
  • Advantages:
    • With a continuous energy supply for the laser, the advantage lies in never depleting ammunition, ensuring a sustained capability for defense.
    • The absence of conventional ammunition will directly result in significant cost savings.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Diminished effectiveness during restricted visibility, such as heavy cloud cover or adverse weather conditions. 
    • It cannot operate effectively in wet conditions—the more moisture in the atmosphere, the more water particles absorb the laser’s energy. 
    • Iron Beam requires a direct line of sight between the system and its target, making its placement far more critical. 
    • It also has a much slower rate of fire, requiring five seconds or so to transmit sufficient energy to destroy its target.

Q1) What is a Laser?

A laser, which stands for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation," is a device that emits intense, focused light of a specific wavelength through a process of optical amplification.

Source: Iron Beam: Is Israel field testing its new laser-based missile defence system amid ongoing rocket attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah?