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Israeli company to unveil laser-based system to shoot down incoming rockets

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2013 file photo, an Israeli soldier is seen next to an Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery deployed near the northern Israeli city of Haifa. A state-owned Israeli arms company said it will unveil a new laser-defense system called the

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FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2013 file photo, an Israeli soldier is seen next to an Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery deployed near the northern Israeli city of Haifa. A state-owned Israeli arms company said it will unveil a new laser-defense system called the "Iron Beam." The system is to be displayed at the Singapore Air Show next month and is expected to be operational next year. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

JERUSALEM - A state-owned Israeli arms company says it will unveil a new laser-defence system next month that will be capable of shooting down short-range rockets and mortar fire.

Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd. says the "Iron Beam" system will use a "directed high energy laser beam" to intercept incoming projectiles fired from short distances. The system is to be displayed at the Singapore Air Show next month and is expected to be operational next year.

Once deployed, Iron Beam would add another element of protection to Israel's multilayered missile defence system.

Israel is developing a new generation of its "Arrow" system to intercept long-range ballistic missiles in space. It also is developing a system to intercept medium-range missiles and has deployed "Iron Dome," which shoots down short-range rockets.

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