The future of warfare will include laser weapons and many sci-fi fans will rejoice …


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Rafael has successfully tested its Iron Beam laser weapon in various scenarios against steep-track threats, including UAVs, mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles, and soon the new weapon system will complement Israel’s famous Iron Dome aerial defense system.


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With its ability to intercept incoming missiles using anti-missiles guided by a sophisticated radar tracking system, Iron Dome has chalked up a remarkable success rate in recent Middle Eastern conflicts. But it has a number of drawbacks. The missiles that are the heart of the system cost over $100,000 per shot and it has trouble with incoming threats at close ranges under 4 km (2.5 miles).


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In contrast, Iron Beam is an optical fiber laser that can lock onto targets at the speed of light and destroy them within five seconds at a range of up to 7 km (4.3 miles). How powerful the laser is hasn’t been released, but it’s projected to soon be in the range of hundreds of kilowatts. In addition, each laser round costs about a dollar a shot, not counting hardware costs, and the ammunition is unlimited as long as electricity is available.


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The recent tests are part of the first phase of a program extending over several years by Rafael, other private companies and the Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) to produce high-energy lasers that can be ground- or air-based and are capable of handling multiple threats in conjunction with Iron Dome.

“The completion of these innovative tests using a high-power laser is just the beginning of our vision,” said Head of R&D at (DDR&D) Brigadier General Yaniv Rotem. “This is the first time we’ve succeeded in intercepting mortars, rockets, and UAVs from such challenging ranges and time intervals. The laser is a game-changer thanks to its easily operated system and significant economic advantages. The next step is to continue the development and initial system deployment within Israel. Our plan is to station multiple laser transmitters along Israel’s borders throughout the next decade. We will continue to simultaneously develop advanced capabilities, including the aerial laser.”

Source: Rafael

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Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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