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India Develops Laser Designation Pods for Fighter Aircraft

Laser Designator Pods (LDPs) are complex laser targeting systems used by the military. American firm Lockheed Martin has been developing a cost-effective fibre laser system that will be demonstrated on a fighter jet in 2021. According to Sources, Indian scientists claim that their laser designator pod is highly cost-effective and accurate.

India’s state-funded Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an advanced and most sought after weapon targeting system in the world, which sharpens the attack capabilities of fighter jets in all-weather conditions. With this development, it is believed that the day and night attack capabilities of India’s homegrown Tejas fighter jets will be greatly improved.

“Laser designator pod (LDP) is the laser sensor-cum-targeting system used in aircraft and provides inputs in actual flight conditions. These are advanced airborne infrared targeting and navigation pods to improve both day and night attack capabilities in all weather conditions. It performs tasks like detection, recognition, identification, designation of surface targets, accurate delivery of guided bombs and accurate ranging”, an official involved with the project told Sputnik on the condition of anonymity.

Indian scientists P. Suresh Kumar, N.N.S.S.R.K. Prasad and K. Senthil Kumar, who developed the system indigenously evaluated the performance of the LDP and found that the achieved average positioning accuracy in terms of azimuth and elevation computation for static and moving ground targets was +/- 2.3 metres. It met all the requirements needed to test the air-to-ground weapons in a flight simulator.

The French Rafale fighter jet, likely to be inducted into the Indian Air Force by September this year, is equipped with the Damocles laser designator pod designed by THALES. The manufacturer claims that it brings full day and night laser designation capability to Rafale. It has ranging (distance sensing) and targeting precision in metres.

It permits laser-guided weapons to be delivered at stand-off range and altitude. Damocles is interoperable with all existing laser-guided weapons.

America’s Lockheed Martin has plans to develop a high-powered laser system for the US Air Force, which is slated for a demonstration on a retrofitted fighter jet in 2021. The sensor is being developed as part of an Air Force Research Laboratory program called the Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator, or SHiELD.

Source: Sputnik News