President Biden revealed plans for Washington to work with Israel in building laser weapons systems
US and Israeli defense contractors will jointly work to build laser weapons capable of shooting down enemy missiles, President Joe Biden announced during a visit to Jerusalem.
“As we move forward together – partners in both security and innovation – the defense sectors of the United States and Israel will cooperate on new high-energy laser weapon systems capable of defending life. of the Israelis as well as that of the American soldiers”, Biden said Thursday during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid at his side.
The president made his comments after meeting with Lapid and pledged that Washington would not “Allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon” and was ready to use”all the elements of its national power to ensure this result. Declaring that the “the scourge of anti-Semitism continues to march around the world”, he added, “You have an ironclad commitment from the United States of America to the security of Israel, an ironclad commitment.”
US President Joe Biden in West Jerusalem: – The scourge of anti-Semitism still exists in the world – US and Israeli defense sectors will cooperate in new high-energy laser weapons systems pic.twitter.com/1QNGUmuE8e
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) July 14, 2022
Biden noted that the United States provided record military aid to Israel last year — adding another $1 billion to its base spending, which averages $3.8 billion a year — for help the country replenish the cache of missile interceptors for its so-called Iron Dome defense system. “You have new tools to keep Israel strong and secure,” he said, adding “We will ensure that Israel can defend itself, on its own.”
After arriving in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Biden toured an exhibit of Israel’s air defense technology, including the Iron Dome and the Arrow and David’s Sling surface-to-air missile systems. He said he also saw a presentation on the Iron Beam, a laser system under development.
Israeli defense officials claimed in April that the Iron Beam had passed a series of “revolutionary” tests, proving its ability to intercept rockets, drones, anti-tank missiles and shrapnel. It is expected to enter service this year, beating an earlier target of 2024.
Israel sought American investment to help fund further development of the Iron Beam. The state-owned Haifa-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems said last year it would work with US defense contractor Lockheed Martin on a ground-based laser weapon for Israel. The companies have signed a tentative agreement to explore opportunities for commercializing the system in the United States.