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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel plans to deploy a new missile shield known as "Iron Beam" next year which would use a laser to blow up short-range rockets and mortar bombs, a defense industry official said on Sunday.
The system is designed to deal with threats that fly on too small a trajectory to be engaged efficiently by Iron Dome, the Israeli interceptor credited with an 80 percent success rate against rockets fired by Palestinian militants.
Both shields are manufactured by state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. While Iron Dome launches radar-guided interceptor rockets, Iron Beam's laser will super-heat the warheads of shells with ranges of up to 7 km (4.5 miles).
Rafael said Iron Dome would be formally unveiled at next month's Singapore Air Show. The Israeli military declined to discuss deployment plans.
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