Israel to ask Biden for help funding futuristic laser defense system

The ministry is looking to other organizations and individuals to help fund the project.

Naftali Bennett visits Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in January to inspect the new laser defense system.  (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
Naftali Bennett visits Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in January to inspect the new laser defense system.
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

The Defense Ministry’s laser interception system project will be presented to US President Joe Biden during his visit to Israel next month, according to sources from the ministry and the IDF on Thursday.

The presentation of the system will take place at Palmahim Airbase when the president tours an Iron Dome battery. The new laser defense system, according to estimates, is expected to become operational within a few years and help protect the country against rockets, missiles, and unmanned aircraft.

IDF sources said that it was no secret that the Defense Ministry was looking for partners for the project, which will have a high cost. Talks on the project have already been held between the ministry, the IDF and the US Defense Department.

Israel’s military is also interested in deepening its ties with the US military in general.

 US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on administration plans to fight inflation and lower costs during a speech in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building's South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 10, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS) US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on administration plans to fight inflation and lower costs during a speech in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building's South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 10, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS)

Background on laser systems

Israel carried out successful laser interception trials in April. The experiments were done in Israel’s South by the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Research and Development (DDR&D) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

The laser system, referred to as the “Iron Beam,” was shown to be capable of intercepting a number of aerial targets in trial runs, which included aerial vehicles, mortars and rockets.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.