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Israel Reportedly Seeks US Go-Ahead to Provide Arab Gulf States With Laser Weaponry

Bennett expressed hope that the system would come online by 2023

Samizdat – 28.06.2022

Last week, Israel’s defense minister announced that Tel Aviv was working on a ‘Middle East Air Defense Alliance’ with Arab governments, but provided no details. On Sunday, US media reported that Washington brokered a secret meeting in the spring of top Israeli and Arab military officials to discuss regional air defense coordination against Iran.

Israeli officials are planning to ask US President Joe Biden for his formal blessing to provide an Iron Beam laser-based air defense system to Gulf Arab states including the United Arab Emirates and possibly Saudi Arabia, Israel’s Channel 12 has reported.

The unsourced Hebrew-language report, cited by the Times of Israel, indicated the delivery of the system to the Gulf countries would assist with the US-led push to ramp up air defense cooperation between Tel Aviv and a loose regional coalition including Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The Jewish State does not have formal diplomatic relations with the latter two country, and Riyadh has repeatedly stated that it would not establish formal ties with Israel until the Palestinian question and the creation of a Palestinian state was settled.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US and Middle Eastern sources, that the Pentagon had organized a hush-hush meeting in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in March to discuss ways to improve air defense cooperation against Iranian ballistic missiles and drones. The meeting was said to have been chaired by then-US Central Command chief Frank McKenzie, and attended by top military commanders from Israel and the Arab countries who were invited.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who announced the formation of a regional anti-Iranian air defense alliance last week, appeared to signal the veracity of WSJ’s reporting on Monday, saying Israel was “building” a “wide partnership with additional countries in the region to ensure a secure, stable and prosperous Middle East,” and that “among other things, this also includes aerial defense.”

“We will strengthen this, as a stable Middle East is an international, regional and Israeli interest of the highest order,” Gantz said.

Iran’s military also appeared to issue an indirect response to WSJ’s report, with Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri warning Monday that Tehran “will not tolerate” the threats posed by Israel and its cooperation with CENTCOM, and “will definitely react to them.”

Israel has long touted the purported advanced capabilities of its so-called ‘Iron Beam’ laser-based air defense system, a prototype of which was unveiled last year. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the “game-changer” weapon would shift the balance in Israel’s favor, with the estimated $2 in electricity required per burst to intercept enemy rockets just a drop in the bucket compared to the tens of thousands of dollars a rocket might cost. Bennett expressed hope that the system would come online by 2023.

Last week, Breaking Defense reported that Israel would ask Biden for more money for Iron Beam’s development, on top of the $3.3 billion in annual US subsidies already received by the Israeli military and defense establishment. The outlet’s sources indicated that Israel will likely ask the US president to shell out about $300 million in additional cash.

“The relations between the US and Israel are solid. The issues that will be on the table during the visit are of utmost importance to both the US and Israel. I’m confident that the talks will be fruitful to both sides,” a senior defense source told the outlet.

During his trip to the Middle East next month, Biden is expected to tour an Israeli airbase and get a firsthand look at the prototype laser weapons being developed by Israeli defense giants Rafael and Elbit Systems.

Lasers for use against aircraft, missiles, drones, ships, and ground equipment have been on the drawing board of weapons developers since the Cold War, with engineers spending decades mulling over the prospects of replacing conventional missile and shell projectiles with the futuristic beam pulse. But energy-directed weapons have long faced what have previously been deemed unsolvable issues, such as the immense amounts of power required to operate them, as well as interaction between combat lasers and natural phenomena such as rain, fog, smog or dust, all of which dissipates their strength.

Last month, US weapons maker Raytheon reported that its own laser weapon, fitted aboard an Army Stryker vehicle, had successfully downed incoming mortar rounds in testing.

June 28, 2022 - Posted by | Militarism | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Bast*rds, one by one, these scofflaws/traitors to all that is right and just…namely, ZioTerrorDemon, USA, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    Viva Iran! Viva Palestine!

    (Islam would be far better served by ‘putting on the table’ and solving/resolving the — artificially induced and goosed by the #1 Worst of the Bast*rds — Shi’a and Sunni divide and getting on with putting paid to the Zionist Project…prime motivator/beneficiary: succor, justice, accountability, peace for my people and land of Palestine! Insha’allah.)


    Comment by roberthstiver | June 29, 2022 | Reply

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