There is no indication that the Russian army shot down an Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle in southwestern Syria during tests of a new laser weapons system.
According to the report by Russia’s Avia Pro, which was also picked up by the Army Recognition website, the Peresvet weapons system shot down an Israeli drone that was carrying out reconnaissance on May 27 after an early Israeli airstrike targeting a Syrian regime position in the Golan Heights.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit told The Jerusalem Post that they do not comment on foreign reports.
But no such drone is known to have been shot down in such an incident.
The system was first unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2018 and in December 2019 the first regiment armed with the lasers went on combat duty for the first time.
The mobile Peresvet weapons system jams and blocks electromagnetic frequencies with an infrared beam from a solid-state laser array in order to destroy or cripple the sensors of targets- both aerial targets like UAVs.
The mobile Peresvet high energy laser weapons system is just one of many Russian military systems being tested in the war-torn country. Other systems include the T-14 Armata tank, Kh-101, Kalibr cruise missiles, Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bomber, Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighter, and the Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter and more.
In January, Israel’s Defense Ministry announced that it made a technological breakthrough in the development of lasers to intercept a variety of aerial threats, including against rockets and anti-tank guided missiles.
Brig.-Gen. Yaniv Rotem, head of the ministry’s Directorate of Research and Development, told reporters at the time that the ministry had been working for over 10 years on powerful laser technology to enable the development of platforms to intercept a variety of threats. The ministry, he said, has carried out a number of successful interceptions of targets such as mortar shells, drones and anti-tank missiles at a variety of ranges over the years.
Dubi Oster, head of the optronics department in the Directorate of Research and Development, said that the ministry was able to take several laser beams and with an advanced algorithm, connected them to get one strong beam able to intercept and take down a variety of threats.
Based on high-energy electric lasers rather than chemical laser technology, the robust system will complement the other layers of Israel’s aerial defenses once operational.