“It may sound like science fiction, but it’s real.” This has been the intimidating statement of Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel, a country that created a powerful prototype of a laser weapon, after more than 20 years of research.
“This is the world’s first energy-based weapon system that uses a laser to shoot down incoming UAVs, rockets and mortars at a price of $3.5 per shot,” he told the Emirates Herald.
Various Israeli officials have told the Emirates Herald news agency that the tests have been successful in a recent series of live-fire tests in the southern Israeli desert, destroying a rocket, a mortar shell and a drone., and drew a standing ovation from the officials watching the action on the screen. To do this with the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars for the development of the weapon.
However, Israel is not the only country that wants to add this type of weaponry to the already traditional one, such as aircraft carriers, anti-tank missiles and other heavy artillery for national defense, as is the case of Lockheed Martin’s Helios laser weapon, which has begun to deploy on US Army Navy ships.
“A lot of promising laser work is going on, it’s not Star Wars sci-fi anymore,” the news agency added.
From Science Fiction to reality.
One of the most ridiculed defense proposals was Ronald Reagan’s 1983 proposal pejoratively called Star Wars, even though its real name was the Strategic Defense Initiative.
For Reagan, a battle between “good and evil” was approaching, that is, between “capitalism and communism” (with the Soviet Union leading in the latter case). Thus, the former president of the United States had to somehow justify the military spending of that time.
In this sense, Regan referred to the project as “A New Hope”, a clear allegation to Star Wars and popular culture, with the aim of reaching North American society.
Although of course, something that Reagan did not tell the American citizens at that time was the extremely high cost of such an arms feat: more than a billion and a half dollars, the PIB of the United States at that time.
In any case, Reagan achieved his goal at the time: to end the nuclear race of the Cold War. At a cost that, by the way, is reflected today, with the race to achieve a fully efficient laser defense system against enemy attacks.