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Imagine a weapon that can neutralize drone attacks, deflect ballistic missiles, and even destroy fighter jets at the speed of light. This is the promise of India’s ambitious “DURGA-2” project, a directed-energy weapon (DEW) being developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

Current anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems have limitations. “DURGA-2” aims to overcome these limitations by offering a 100% kill probability, potentially revolutionizing the military landscape. This has sparked excitement in Indian strategic circles, envisioning the system effectively countering threats from China and Pakistan.

The project holds immense significance considering the vulnerability of Indian cities to ballistic missile attacks. While the S-400 system offers some protection, it doesn’t guarantee complete defense. “DURGA-2” aspires to fill this gap by destroying missiles and even crippling enemy radar and electronic warfare systems, rendering their missile infrastructure ineffective.

The Laser Science and Technology Centre (LSTC) in New Delhi is spearheading the project, developing various laser generation techniques for both defensive and offensive purposes. The project, funded with $100 million, aims to integrate the laser system with land, sea, and air platforms.

Initial successes include a 25KW laser capable of targeting missiles at a distance of 5 km, with efforts underway to extend this range significantly. However, providing adequate power for high-power lasers remains a significant challenge.

While “DURGA-2” holds immense potential, its development requires overcoming technical hurdles and navigating international regulations surrounding DEWs. Nevertheless, the project represents a significant step forward in India’s defense capabilities, potentially ushering in a new era of laser-based warfare.