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India develops laser beam-riding guidance system

The DRDO has developed a laser beam-riding guidance system equipped with an ELRF to guide its very short-range air-defence system – pictured above from a DRDO test in March 2023. (DRDO)

India's state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a laser beam-riding (LBR) guidance system equipped with an eye-safe laser rangefinder (ELRF), a senior DRDO official told Janes on 18 March.

β€œThe technology development of the system is completed and now the DRDO is looking for an Indian industry partner for transfer of technology (ToT) to manufacture the system,” the official said.

Once it is rolled out the system will undergo multiple trials, the official added.

The DRDO recently published an expression of interest (EoI) document seeking industries willing to enter a ToT agreement with the organisation to develop and produce the system. According to the document, the system seeks to provide line-of-sight laser guidance to missiles.

The system is envisaged to generate a spatially encoded laser beam carrying information to guide the missile into the beam's path and strike the target, the DRDO said.

The organisation claimed that the LBR guidance system will be used with short-range air-defence and anti-tank missiles. β€œThis guidance system is less susceptible to smoke, fog, rain, and dust as compared to semi-active laser guidance,” the DRDO added.

According to the DRDO, the system is designed to operate with low laser output, which will make it compact and resistant to countermeasures.

The LBR guidance system will comprise an LBR guidance transmitter, an ELRF, an optical day sight, and a laser seeker module. The DRDO claimed that the system features a range of 500–5,000 m.

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