Laser Weapons at LoC May be Part of Fu­ture Re­sponse to Pak­istan Chal­lenge

India Strategic - - INDUSTRY -

NEW DELHI. As In­dia’s se­cu­rity and diplo­matic es­tab­lish­ments ex­am­ine a range of pos­si­ble cur­rent re­sponses to ter­ror-ex­port­ing Pak­istan, of­fi­cial think tank Niti Aayog is look­ing at the fu­ture options. And no-con­tact counter of­fen­sives that use tech­nol­ogy such as laser is high on this list. Niti Aayog mem­ber VK Saraswat, who was ear­lier sec­re­tary in De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion, is work­ing on iden­ti­fy­ing dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies.

Laser tech­nol­ogy has at­tracted plenty of de­fence re­search in the West, with mil­i­tary plan­ners not­ing virtues such as pre­ci­sion tar­get­ing and low cost of us­age.

Laser weapons sys­tems op­er­ate on the ba­sic prin­ci­ple that laser beams are im­pos­si­ble to avoid or de­tect. They can tar­get both en­emy per­son­nel and en­emy com­mu­ni­ca­tions and in­stal­la­tions. The US army and navy are most ad­vanced in laser weapons or di­rected en­ergy weapons re­search.

There are tech­no­log­i­cal chal­lenges for de­vel­op­ing such sys­tems that can be mo­bile, rugged, cost- ef­fec­tive and func­tional un­der a va­ri­ety of weather con­di­tions. Niti Aayog’s plans are to get In­dia to adopt laser tech­nol­ogy for use in a va­ri­ety of de­fence set­tings, in­clud­ing guard­ing In­dia’s bor­ders against Pak­istan. Such a weapons sys­tems in, say, LoC can be a game-changer, ex­perts say. But de­vel­op­ment and adop­tion is a long haul as well.

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