Lockheed Martin, the defense manufacturing company that produces High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) for Ukraine, will begin developing High Energy Laser Weapon Systems (HELWS) intended for use in the United States.
The company announced on Monday a deal with Israeli manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to develop, test and manufacture the HELWS. The defense system is based on Israel’s Iron Beam system, which Ukraine has requested in its efforts to defend itself against Russian attacks.
The system is intended to knock out incoming attacks using only lasers, rather than using rockets. It is seen as a cheaper alternative to rockets, with former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet saying it can shoot down targets at only $3.50 per shot, according to The National Interest.