News and Commentary

WATCH: Israel Unleashes New Laser Weapon That Shoots Down Drones
OLD BETHPAGE, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: A drone is flown for recreational purposes in the sky above Old Bethpage, New York on September 5, 2015.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

A military defense company in Israel released video this week that shows off a new laser weapon that it has developed that is able to shoot down small drones, which are increasing terror threat in many parts of the world.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced on Thursday that it had conducted the first live demonstrations of its new Drone Dome-L counter-unmanned aircraft systems (CUAS) system which features an “integrated hard-kill high energy laser effector.”

“The system achieved 100% success in all test scenarios,” the company said in a statement. “Drone Dome is designed to address threats posed by hostile drones both in military and civilian sites, offering advanced solutions for maneuvering forces and military facilities, critical border protection, as well as civilian targets such as airports, public facilities, or any other sites that might be vulnerable to the increasing threat of both terror and criminal drones.”


“The Rafael-sponsored demonstration, conducted in southern Israel in December 2019 but only disclosed by the company on 11 February, provided for end-to-end detection, tracking, and laser interception of ‘multiple UAS, including manoeuvring targets’ by Drone Dome-L’s laser capability. The event was preceded by a two-year internal test campaign, which, in the past six months, has brought the Drone Dome-L system to a sufficient level of maturity to enable Rafael to stage the multiple intercept demonstration,” Jane’s reported in an article that the company linked to. “Rafael used Phantom-class quadcopter UAS systems as the threat targets in the demonstration; engagement ranges and specific laser dwell time required to defeat the threat was not disclosed.”

In December, Israel unveiled a separate laser weapon that it hopes it will be using in the near future to shoot down bombs that Palestinian terrorists strap to balloons.

“The system, dubbed Light Blade, is intended to shoot the threats out of the sky before they can enter Israeli territory. It was developed for police and the Israel Defense Forces by three engineers from the private sector who worked with Ben Gurion University researchers and technological departments of the Israel Police and IDF,” The Times of Israel reported. “The tactic of launching balloons carrying explosive and arson devices from Gaza into Israel emerged last year as part of a series of protests and riots along the Strip’s border, which began in late March and is known collectively as the March of Return. The simple and cheap method of attack by Palestinians has proved effective as Israeli security forces have struggled to counter the tactic. Small drones carrying explosives have also been used in attacks from Gaza.”

Another impressive tool that Israel has pioneered in recent years along with U.S. assistance is tunnel detection technology.

“The tunnel-detection technology goes beyond purely military applications,” Defense News reported. “Elbit Systems reportedly wants to export some of the technology that it has helped develop as a partner in the program. The detection system could be used to combat tunnels used for smuggling drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border, among other areas. In April 2016, the U.S. uncovered a tunnel stretching half a mile from Mexico into San Diego, California. It was the largest of 13 uncovered since 2006.”

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