Rafael Advanced Defense Systems showcased its Iron Beam high-energy laser (HEL) system at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) 2015.
The short-range counter rocket artillery and mortar (C-RAM) and counter unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) system was the centrepiece system for the Israeli manufacturer at the event running from 20 to 25 October.
First unveiled at the Singapore Airshow in 2014, Iron Beam is a mobile ground-based system that comprises an air defence radar, a command and control (C2) unit, and two HEL systems. The system can be configured in ISO shipping containers for mounting in a stationary location or on a truck or armoured vehicle, depending on the customer's requirements.
As previously described to IHS Jane's , the air defence radar first acquires the incoming round or UAV before a thermal camera takes over the tracking ahead of it being engaged simultaneously by two HELs.
According to Rafael, the lasers focus their beams into an area 'about the size of a coin', destroying the target out to a range of about 2 km. The company has declined to divulge specific power levels for the HELs, except to say that they are currently working with "tens of kilowatts", but expects to move into the "hundreds of kilowatts" in the future. Rafael does not produce the lasers itself, but sources them from several unnamed suppliers.