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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is setting its sights on high-powered directed-energy weapons (DEWs). This development comes as part of a well-defined roadmap with short–, medium-, and long-term goals for harnessing this next-generation military technology.

The current focus is on developing DEWs with a significant power increase, targeting a range of 30-50 kilowatts. This substantial leap in power signifies a move towards more potent DEWs capable of tackling a wider range of threats.

DRDO’s roadmap envisions achieving this goal within the next three to five years. These advanced DEWs are expected to boast operational ranges extending to tens of kilometres, significantly enhancing their defensive capabilities.

This push towards high-powered DEWs comes after DRDO’s achievements in developing anti-drone laser systems. These systems, with power outputs ranging from 2 kilowatts to 10 kilowatts, have proven effective in countering drone threats. The success of these systems has led to a substantial order of 23 such laser systems by the Indian Armed Forces, valued at approximately Rs 400 crore.

Directed-energy weapons offer several advantages over conventional weapons. They have lower ammunition costs, near-instantaneous engagement, and the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously. As DEW technology matures, it is poised to play an increasingly crucial role in modern warfare.

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