Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC)
DRDO is working on a slew of directed energy weapons (DEWs). LASTEC has identified DEWs, along with space security, cyber-security and hypersonic vehicles as focus areas in the next 15 years.
The aim is to develop laser-based weapons, deployed on airborne as well as seaborne platforms, which can intercept missiles soon after they are launched towards India in the boost phase itself. These will be part of the ballistic missile defence system being currently developed by DRDO. LASTEC is developing a 25-kilowatt laser system to hit a missile during its terminal phase at a distance of 5–7 km.
LASTEC is also working on a vehicle-mounted gas dynamic laser-based DEW system, under project Aditya, which should be ready in three years. Project Aditya is a technology demonstrator to prove beam control technology. Ultimately, solid-state lasers would be used.
LASTEC projects include:
- Hand-held laser dazzler to disorient adversaries, without collateral damage. 50-metre range. Status: Ready.
- Crowd-control dazzlers mounted on vehicles to dispel rioting mobs. 250-metre range. Status: Will take 2 more years.
- Laser-based ordnance disposal system, which can be used to neutralise IEDs and other explosives from a distance. Status: Trials begin in 18 months.
- Air defence dazzlers to take on enemy aircraft and helicopters at range of 10 km. Status: Will take 2 more years.
- 25-kilowatt laser systems to destroy missiles during their terminal phase at range of 5 to 7 km. Status: Will take 5 more years.
- At least 100-kilowatt solid-state laser systems, mounted on aircraft and ships, to destroy missiles in their boost phase itself. Status: Will take a decade.
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