Indian scientists are on the path to develop an airborne missile-intercept system that employs high-powered lasers to destroy missiles during their boost phase.
The Laser Science & Technology Center (Lastec) at India’s secretive Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has been building up technologies that can intercept missiles early in their flight.
The weapons will also be utilized for crucial exercises by the country’s armed forces that will involve space security, cybersecurity and hypersonic technology. These futuristic technologies will be incorporated in the Ballistic Missile Defense system being pursued by India.
Last year, DRDO developed an ultra-compact, hand-held laser sensor capable of giving warning in the form of an audio beep as well as a visual indication to the user of any impending laser threat. The device can be used by infantry soldiers in the battlefield and also can be configured as a helmet-mounted system in a modified package.
Recently, India also tested a laser ballistic missile defense system. The laser weapon is capable of producing 25-kw pulses that can destroy a ballistic missile at a range of 7 km (4 mi.). One of these weapons is the air defense dazzler, which can engage enemy aircraft and helicopters at a range of 10 km.
Last year the U.S. conducted a series of tests of high-powered laser weapons on a modified Boeing 747, the ALTB (Airborne Laser Test-Bed), which directs chemical laser energy to destroy ballistic missiles in the boost phase.
“While these laser-based technologies will take time to develop and be deployed, the DRDO along with Lastec has mapped out the future course of action in these areas,” a DRDO official says.