US-based Lockheed Martin and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have signed a collaboration agreement. It includes jointly developing, testing, and manufacturing high-energy laser weapon systems (HELWS) in the U.S. and Israel.
The joint development will be based on the Iron Beam short-range laser air-defense system developed by Rafael and the Defense Research and Development Directorate (DDR&D) of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The collaboration will build on existing assets independently developed under the Iron Beam project.
What is Iron Beam and how will it be used?
IRON BEAM is a 100kW-class high-energy laser weapon system (HELWS). It is expected to be the first-ever operational ground-based air defense system against emerging threats like rockets, mortars, and UAVs, in today’s complex battlefield.
The high-energy laser weapon systems will be integrated into Israel’s multi-layered air-defense array to counter threats while also defending critical infrastructure.
Rafael’s CEO and President Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Yoav Har-Even said, “This strategic teaming agreement serves as a force multiplier for RAFAEL and the Israeli market. We are working to ensure our customers receive the most advanced, effective, and best-in-class systems. This agreement will expand and diversify the capabilities we can offer to a variety of customers,”
“Over the last three decades, alongside the DDR&D and the Israeli Ministry of Defense, RAFAEL has invested in laser research and development, resulting in IRON BEAM and we expect to become the first operational laser defense system of its kind. This is a clear example of Israeli-made capabilities leading to strategic cooperation which will benefit both sides,” he added.