The companies Lockheed Martin and Rafael Advanced Combat Systems Ltd"M, signed a cooperation agreement that includes joint development, testing and production of a powerful laser system in Israel and Israel"B. The future joint development will be carried out based on assets developed and developed independently by Rafael and Maffa"T/Mashhab"9 as part of the work on the Iron Beam system and will focus on developing a version of this system for the American market and other markets.
After years of joint investment by the Ministry of Defense/Iron Beam Project (Directorate for Research and Development of Military Intelligence and Technological Infrastructure) and Rafael, the Magen Or Iron Beam project was initiated by the IDF. In the last year, a series of experiments was carried out that proved the operational capability of the system. Magen Or (Iron Beam) is a powerful ground laser weapon system in the 100kW category, which is expected to be the first operational system of its kind in the world for air defense against a variety of threats such as rockets, mortars and unmanned aircraft, through a direct hit on the target at the speed of light.
"This strategic cooperation agreement is a force multiplier for Rafael and even for the Israeli economy. We work to ensure that our customers receive the most advanced, effective and best systems. The agreement will expand the portfolio of capabilities and options that the company can jointly offer to a variety of customers," said the CEO"To Raphael, Major General (in response) Yoav Har Even. "During the last three decades, Rafael has invested together with Mapa"T/Mashhab"9 in research and development in the laser field, which led to the groundbreaking development of the Iron Beam system, and we anticipate that it will become the first operational system of its kind, in the field of laser protection, and is a clear example of independent Blue and White capabilities that lead to strategic collaborations that will greatly contribute to both the parties".
The ‘Magan Or’ (Iron Beam) system is expected to be integrated into Israel’s multi-layered air defense system. This is the most suitable solution in terms of costs, readiness for action and the ability to deal with evolving threats, at the same time as protecting critical infrastructures, strategic sites, maneuvering forces and population centers.
"Lockheed Martin’s mission is to provide the best security solutions that help our customers stay one step ahead of their competitors. Working with Rafael, the joint team will help bring this new and life-saving capability to our customers"said the Director of Global Operations at Lockheed Martin, Frank St. John. "This unique capability will improve Israel’s vital defense system against a variety of threats from the air, with laser technology at the forefront of innovation, and we are proud to have the opportunity to expand Lockheed Martin’s partnership in the defense of the State of Israel".
"We see the capabilities of Magen Or (Iron Beam) developed together with Mashab"9, as a technological breakthrough, with its proven effectiveness against some of the most sophisticated threats, including rockets, mortars, drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, even when they arrive in large quantities. The system is designed to provide protection against evolving threats in today’s complex battlefield, thereby strengthening the ability to defend the Israeli home front and is a catalyst for the creation of bilateral cooperation"said D"R. Ran Gozli, VP"Senior and head of the land and sea division at Rafael.
"Lockheed Martin is entering a new era in its operations in Israel. As a technological leader, our aerial platforms, such as the F-35, F-16, C-130 and more, have been operating in Israel for many years and together with the heavy transport helicopter, the CH-53K – which will enter service in the coming years – will continue to operate in the future as well. We are now entering the era of the powerful laser and look forward to placing an operational, reliable and efficient system in the field together with our partners at Rafael"said Yehoshua (Shiki) Shani, CEO"To Lockheed Martin Israel.
Lockheed Martin brings with it decades of experience in the planning, development and successful testing of critical systems and subsystems that have successfully dealt with a variety of threats, from the detection stage to the impact. Lockheed Martin’s expertise stems from decades of investment in prototype systems that have demonstrated effectiveness against a variety of threats. The companies will develop and operate a powerful laser system in the field and explore additional opportunities for providing this critical capability to the United States and exploring the potential in other parts of the world.