Laser-based defence system: The Iron Beam

Laser-based defence system: The Iron Beam

Once considered futuristic, the Iron Beam is a laser-based missile defence system. One which uses an amplified fiber laser to generate laser beams to destroy incoming airborne targets.

The Iron Beam, or “Light Shield” can be broken down via its step-by-step operations.

First a surveillance system identifies incoming threats. This is then tracked by multiple vehicle platforms working in tandem.

Within four seconds, the energy built up by a fibre laser system is released in a pointed direction with enough heat and targeting to quickly ignite and destroy incoming targets.

These targets can include missiles, UAVs and mortar shells.

The device is being rolled out in a number of mediums, including mounted on the back of trucks, stationary and, revealed in May 2023, a new Naval Iron Beam designed to be integrated into ships.

With conflicts in 2023, the Iron Beam has been seen in action, successfully shooting down missiles and protecting areas from shelling.

The AN/SEQ-3 Laser System

The Iron Beam is reminiscent of the AN/SEQ-3 Laser Weapon System which is currently being used by the U.S. Navy. This laser utilizes a solid-state laser array to scramble and damage sensor technologies in drones and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The future of warfare will be decided on a technological race.