The Mobile Tactical High-Energy Laser is a short-range weapon being developed with Israel, which wants it to destroy Katyusha rockets fired at its border villages by Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. The weapon looks like a searchlight. In tests during late 2002, the Army used the high-energy laser to heat artillery shells, which exploded in flight. In earlier tests, the laser shot down 25 Katyushas, both singly and in salvos. Artillery shells generate far less heat than rockets do and are more difficult to track. Also, because rockets are pressurized, they are easier to blow up than shells.
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Skyshield tried against Qassam
Lockheed Martin has modified Oerlikon Contraves' Skyshield 35 mm Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction (AHEAD) air-defence system to better deal with Katyusha and Qassam rockets.
A Lockheed Martin representative told Jane's that in a recent series of laboratory tests, the system successfully neutralised 122 mm Katyusha warheads and an exact copy of the Palestinian indigenous Qassam rockets.