In what is being dubbed as Star Wars-like weapons, India's premier defence research lab Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is said to be developing Directed Energy Weapons (DEW). This could include the use of high-energy lasers and high-powered microwaves as weapons of the future.
DRDO is currently working on a 10-kilowatt DEW that will enable the armed forces to take down targets like UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). It is also working on the "establishment of critical technologies of precision tracking/pointing and laser beam combination," the report said.
DRDO has already tested the "system" for a range of 800 meters at its Hyderabad-based Centre for High Energy Systems and Sciences (CHESS). It was reportedly shown to the armed forces at Ramgarh, Haryana, based Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory in 2015.
DRDO has also developed smaller systems like laser-based ordnance disposal of IEDs and mines, hand-held laser dazzlers for use against terrorist and vehicle-mounted laser dazzlers to control mobs.
The New Delhi-based Laser Science and Technology Centre, a DRDO lab, is said to be working on a variety of weapon systems ranging from "chemical oxygen iodine lasers" to "high-power fiber lasers" for strategic applications. One of the projects in development is a 25-kilowatt laser that is being designed to target a "terminal phase" ballistic missile, at a range of 5 to 7 kms.
The government released Rs 115 crore in February 2014 to CHESS in order to develop "experimental technology modules for directed energy laser systems," and this added impetus to the project, which is scheduled to be completed by July 2017.
The DEW is not new to the defence ministry's planners, since the development of DEWs and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons was classified as "top-priority area" in the 15-year "technology perspective and capability roadmap" that was prepared by the ministry.
The TOI report also noted the operational significance of such weapon systems -- cost-effective and flexible, can engage multiple targets, silent and stealthy, no limitation on stock or magazine capacity and has pinpoint accuracy.
However, one of the challenges for the DRDO scientists is to have a solid-state laser DEWs that can be used from aircraft and warships, and which can destroy enemy ballistic missiles in their "boost phase" itself and not wait until the "terminal phase."
DRDO’s Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC) which have been tasked to build India’s Star Wars-like weapon systems for the Indian Armed forces in the near future have finally begun testing a vehicle-mounted “gas dynamic laser-based DEW system dubbed ” Aditya” which is a technology demonstrator to prove beam control technology.
Above image tweeted by prominent defence journalist Saurav Jha courtesy of DRDO is a directed energy weapons (DEWs) technology demonstrator dubbed Aditya which is mounted on a truck.
The directed energy weapons (DEWs) technology uses subatomic particles or electromagnetic waves at the speed of sound to cripple or destroys their targets. DRDO’s LASTEC has been tasked to develop a slew of DEWs which can be used by Armed forces to control rioting crowds to high-powered lasers to destroy incoming missiles.
LASTEC will be developing Lethal and Non-Lethal variants of which in Non-lethal variants hand-held DEWs have been developed which are easy to carry and can be used in disorienting single adversaries, LASTEC will develop DEWs which can be used as Crowd-control dazzlers mounted on vehicles to dispel rioting mobs and another variant planned will be development of Laser-based ordnance disposal system which can be used to neutralise IEDs and other explosives from a distance.
In lethal variants, LASTEC will develop Air-defence variant of DEWs which can be used against UAVs, Helicopters at a range of 5-10kms which can guard airspace of an area of 10 km with a 360° view,
other key development will be of a 25-kilowatt laser systems to destroy missiles during their terminal phase under 10km range, where the missile skin will be heated to 200-300 degree leading to warhead inside the missile to detonate mid-air and ultimate DEWs which will be developed over a period of few year will be that of 100-kilowatt solid-state laser systems, mounted on aircraft and ships, to destroy missiles in their boost phase itself .
Or important task is to catch up with US, Russia and China.Awesome, Simply awesome. It is tested fro 800 M. Next one shall have a range of 7 km.
It is great. We must use these lasers to dig a hole in the bodies of Porki intruders.
I am not telling to compete with porkies but I simply tell that we should use it against terrorist to neutralize them to a greater distance without bullet.Or important task is to catch up with US, Russia and China.
Come on man, ignore porkis, they can't make a simple laser pointer.
We have much important things instead of wasting time on them.
New Delhi: From "heat rays" in H G Wells' science fiction novel 'The War of the Worlds' of 1898 to galactic super-lasers in George Lucas' continuing 'Star Wars' film saga, concentrated energy weapons have been fantasised about for long without them becoming operationally viable.
But advanced militaries now think directed energy weapons (DEWs) like high-energy lasers and high-powered microwaves will become strategic game-changers in the not-too-distant a future. While the US, Russia, China and others are leagues ahead in the race to develop advanced DEWs, though their actual operational deployment is still some distance away, India is also trying to make some headway towards such futuristic weapons.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is already tom-tomming its ongoing development of a 10-kilowatt DEW against UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) like targets, with "the establishment of critical technologies of precision tracking/pointing and laser beam combination".
The "system" has been tested up to a range of 800 meters at its Hyderabad-based Centre for High Energy Systems and Sciences (CHESS), and was also demonstrated to the armed forces at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory's firing range at Ramgarh (Haryana) in September last year.
Development of DEWs and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons has been identified as a top-priority area in the 15-year "technology perspective and capability roadmap" chalked out by the defence ministry, as reported by TOI earlier.
The DRDO, often criticised for huge time and cost overruns in its projects, says smaller systems like laser-based ordnance disposal of IEDs and mines, hand-held laser dazzlers to overpower armed terrorists and vehicle-mounted laser dazzlers for controlling unruly mobs have already been developed.
But the real challenge will be in achieving the declared aim to develop solid-state laser DEWs for aircraft and warships, which can destroy enemy ballistic missiles in their "boost phase itself", somewhat akin to what is already being tested by the US.
The DRDO's Laser Science & Technology Centre is working on an array of systems from "chemical oxygen iodine lasers" to "high-power fiber lasers" for st-rategic uses, which includes a 25-kilowatt laser to take on a ballistic missile du-ring its "terminal phase" at a distance of 5-7 km.
All this has gained momentum after the government in February 2014 sanctioned Rs 115 crore for de-velopment of "experimental technology modules for directed energy laser syst-ems" by CHESS, with the project completion date being set for July 2017.
The Dazzler weapon and this Aditya technology demonstrator are technologically different, although both are DEWs. Dazzler causes temporary optical obfuscation of cameras, optics and eyes so an exception has been made by the 1995 UN resolution on blinding weapons. Dazzler can be used, at the most on cameras and protesters, rioters, without burning or permanent damage. Aditya and Kali are the real DEW in the true sense of the word. Different types of weapons for different types of enemies.
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