April 24, 2017
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Accurate delivery
Necessity of laser guided bombs

Among the many lessons learnt by India from the Kargil intrusion by the Pakistan Army Northern Light Infantry in 1999 was one that it should not require the wasteful expenditure of more than 2,50,000 tons of steel over a period of more than two months to be able to dislodge/eliminate an entrenched enemy. The efficacy and necessity of precision guided munitions that deliver a warhead to within a meter of a target was brought home rather late in the conflict when laser guided bombs were acquired from Israel and fitted onto Mirage bombers and fired from standoff altitudes of more than six kms to avoid shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. An aircraft and one helicopter had already been shot down by the intruders using US Stinger missiles diverted from the Afghanistan war against Soviet occupation.

After outright purchases from Israel, the Defence Research and Development Organisation began experimenting with a conversion kit that helps turn the freefall dynamics of the dumb or iron bombs into a laser guided weapon. However, if the accuracy of the Indian Sudarshan 1,000 lb (450 kg) bomb remains at 10 meters of circular error probabil
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