Armed Services Committee lawmakers recently expressed their desire to get more information from the Pentagon regarding the office’s future plans to integrate directed energy weapons into the air defense program. Furthermore, the House think tank has advised that the US needs to more effectively discuss progress in this particular field, and with one country in particular; and that nation is Israel.
Indeed, the House Armed Services Committee’s (HASC) fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act does include a handful of amendments that aim to strengthen air defense for the United States (and her allies) against unmanned attacks from aerial systems, rockets, missiles, and artillery. Among growing conflicts across Europe and the Middle East, lawmakers are focusing on the urgent need to bolster air defenses.
In an adopted amendment to the primary initiative, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo. Comments, “The committee believes that with recent Russian actions in Ukraine, ongoing efforts by Iran and Iranian proxies to use cruise missiles to destabilize and undermine regimes, and growing Chinese capabilities, air defense for the United States and our allies is an increasing priority.”
He goes on to say that this threat environment requires a new incorporation of allied platforms. In particular, of course, the effort aims to bring together NATO and Israel in future air defense architectures to expand reach and actionable efforts.
Furthermore, Lamborn notes that the new committee expects “directed energy technology has matured to the point where it may be successfully deployed against current rocket, artillery, mortar, and cruise missile threats.”
Effectively, then, the committee has requested service from the Missile Defense Agency to work, specifically, with the Israeli Missile Defense Organization on directed energy technology development and deployment for missile defense. Israel has already begun work on its laser-beam missile defense system—a development project known as Iron Beam—as well other laser-based capabilities.