The national programme will have short, medium and long-term goals, with the eventual aim being to develop different DEW variants of up to 100 kilowatt power, in collaboration with the domestic industry, sources said.

The DRDO has been working on several DEW projects for long, ranging from ‘chemical oxygen iodine’ and ‘high-power fibre’ lasers to a secretive ‘Kali’ particle-beam weapon for ‘soft-kills’ against incoming missiles and aircraft.