Military Embedded Systems

Airborne laser weapon system intercepts UAVs in test with Elbit Systems


June 22, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Elbit Systems photo.

ISRAEL. The Directorate of Defense R&D in the Ministry of Defense (MoD), together with Elbit Systems and the Israeli Air Force (IAF), has intercepted several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using an airborne High-Power Laser Weapon System (HPL-WS). The UAVs were intercepted at various ranges and flight altitudes.

According to officials, the test series was conducted under the leadership of the Directorate of Defense R&D in the Israel Ministry of Defense. During this series, officials claim a HPL-WS was installed on an aircraft and was tested in a number of scenarios.

The system intercepted and destroyed all of the UAVs that were launched throughout the test. The ability to intercept and destroy airborne threats in the air is intended to offer a strategic change in the air defense capabilities of the State of Israel. This series was conducted in a testing field in the center of Israel, in close cooperation with the IAF and the "Yanat" unit.

Officials also claim that this method of airborne interception has advantages including a low cost per interception, the ability to intercept long-range threats at high altitudes in contested environments, and the ability to defend large areas. 

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