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Defexpo 2022: SFO Technologies, DRDO partner to develop high-energy laser system

SFO Technologies and the DRDO have co-developed a high-energy laser system (pictured above) to track and neutralise hostile targets. (Janes/Oishee Majumdar)

Kochi-based SFO Technologies Private Limited has been collaborating with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop a high-energy laser system for the Indian Armed Forces.

SFO Technologies has partnered with the DRDO's Centre for High Energy Systems and Sciences (CHESS) to develop a 2 kW continuous wave or constant wave (CW) single-mode fibre laser using Yb 3+ -doped double-clad fibre, a source familiar with the matter told Janes at Defexpo 2022, being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from 18 to 22 October.

According to the source, three prototypes of the system have been developed by SFO Technologies.

β€œThe first and second prototypes were reviewed and accepted by CHESS in June and August, respectively,” the source said.

The third and final prototype is scheduled to be accepted by CHESS on 19 October at SFO Technologies' facility at Kochi, the source added.

One of the prototypes is undergoing field trials against ground targets, the source told Janes .

CHESS is pursuing talks with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to deliver multiple units of this system to the Indian Armed Forces in 2023 for field trials, the source added.

The source said that the development of this laser system started in 2020.

According to specifications provided by CHESS, the laser has an engagement range of 1 km, an electro-optics (EO) detection range of 2.5 km, and an EO tracking range of 2 km. The system can fire 50 rounds to neutralise targets.

The system has a lasting wavelength of 1,080 nm and a 1.2 beam quality (M2).

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