Aug. 3 – Using state-of-the-art laser technology, India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is in the midst of developing an arsenal of high-tech, futuristic directed energy weapons (DEWs).
With each model having its own unique characteristics, including vehicle-mounted non-lethal laser dazzlers intended to aid law enforcement agencies subdue unruly crowds and a 100 kilowatt solid-state laser system used to detonate incoming missiles, this new weapons line will help protect the nation against a wide range of threats.
Scientists at DRDO’s Laser Science and Technology Center (LASTEC) have already completed work on a hand-held version of the laser dazzler with a range of up to 50 meters and a 25 kilowatt laser system capable of destroying enemy missiles is estimated to be completed in five years time.
“Lasers are weapons of the future. We can, for instance, use laser beams to shoot down an enemy missile in its boost or terminal phase,” LASTEC Director Anil Kumar Maini told the Times of India on Monday. “All you need is to heat the missile skin to 200-300 degrees and the warhead inside will detonate.”
DRDO’s Director General Dr. V.K. Saraswat has identified DEWs as one of the agency’s focus areas in the years ahead, along with space security, cyber security and hypersonic vehicles. India’s Defense Ministry also named the development of DEWs and anti-satellite weapons among the department’s critical areas over the next 15 years in its “technology perspective and capability roadmap.”
Laser DEWs assail their targets with subatomic particles traveling at the speed of light and operate with limited collateral damage. While India is still behind the United States in its testing of high powered solid-state laser defense systems, the fact that they are in the game alone shows how far the country’s science and technology sector has come in recent years.