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Updated: Sep 5

The KALI (Kilo Ampere Linear Injector) is a linear electron accelerator being developed in India by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). It is a Directed-energy weapon designed to work in such a way that if an enemy missile is launched towards India, it will quickly emit powerful pulses of Relativistic electron beam and destroy the target. Unlike laser beams, it does not bore a hole in the target but thoroughly damages the on-board electronic systems.

Scientists say that it can potentially be used as a beam weapon. Bursts of microwaves packed with gigawatts of power produced by this machine, when aimed at enemy missiles and aircraft will cripple their electronic system and computer chips and bring them down right away.


The roots of KALI project extends back to 1985 when the Director of BARC, Dr.R Chidambaram thought of building an electron accelerating machine. The project started in in 1989 and was aimed to produce electron pulses of about 100 nano second duration with an energy of 1 Mega electron volt(MeV). This electron beam itself can be used for welding purposes. This Relativistic Electron Beams (REB) thus generated will be used for the generation of High Power Microwaves (HPM) & Flash X Rays (FXR).

The first accelerators had a power of ~0.4GW, which increased as later versions were developed. These were the KALI 80, KALI 200, KALI 1000, KALI 5000 and KALI 10000.

KALI Was Commissioned in 2004


The KALI series (KALI 80, KALI 200, KALI 1000, KALI 5000 and KALI 10000) of accelerators are described as “Single Shot Pulsed Gigawatt Electron Accelerators”. They are single shot devices, using water filled capacitors to build the charge energy. The discharge is in the range of 1GW. Initially starting with 0.4GW power, present accelerators are able to reach 40GW. Pulse time is about 60 ns.

The Microwave radiations emitted by the KALI-5000 are in the 3–5 GHz Range

The KALI-5000 is a pulsed accelerator of 1 MeV electron energy, 50-100 ns pulse time, 40kA Current and 40 GW Power level. The system is quite bulky as well, with the KALI-5000 weighing 10 tons, and the KALI-10000, weighing 26 tons. They are also very power hungry, and require a cooling tank of 12,000 liters of oil. Recharging time is also too long to make it a viable weapon in its present form.

Pulse detonation system is a mechanically simpler engine in comparison to the gas turbine engine, wherein the combustion wave travels at supersonic speeds relative to the unburnt fuel-oxidizer mixture. It utilizes repetitive detonations of the fuel-oxidizer mixture to produce thrust.

For flying systems, however, detonation requires a long tube length to accommodate required amount of energy input. TBRL has been working on a system to reduce the length of the engine so that it can be applied in systems like UAVs and other missiles system as well. “To reduce engine length, suitable devices are employed which reduce the length of the tube required for the transition from deflagration to detonation. A test rig was designed and established for conducting experiments with liquid fuel-air mixtures,” the paper added.

“Developing indigenous pulse detonation technology is a big achievement for Indian scientists. This technology is very important for the cruise, anti-ship missile and UAVs which will be used in manipulating speed and fuel efficiency of the missile or drones,” Rajiv Nayan, a missile technology expert said.


The KALI has been put to various uses by the DRDO. The DRDO was involved in configuring the KALI for their use.

The X-rays emitted are being used in Ballistics research as an illuminator for ultrahigh speed photography by the Terminal Ballistics Research Institute (TBRL) in Chandigarh. The Microwave emissions are used for EM Research.

The microwave-producing version of KALI has also been used by the DRDO scientists for testing the vulnerability of the electronic systems of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), which was then under development.

It has also helped in designing electrostatic shields to "harden" the LCA and missiles from microwave attack by the enemy as well as protecting satellites against deadly Electromagnetic Impulses (EMI) generated by nuclear weapons and other cosmic disturbances, which "fry" and destroy electronic circuits. Electronic components currently used in missiles can withstand fields of approx. 300 V/cm, while the fields in case of EMI attack reach thousands of V/cm.

As a Weapon

Weaponisation of the KALI will take some time. The system is still under development, and efforts are being made to make it more compact as well as improve its recharge time, which, at the present, makes it only a single use system.

There are also issues with creating a complete system, which would require development of many more components. There have been reports of placing the weaponized KALI in an Il-76 aircraft as an airborne defence system.

In the early version of 'Kali', one gigabyte of electromagnetic waves per nano second was hit. But until the last information, the latest form of 'Kali' emits up to 40 gigawatts of energy waves in 100 milliseconds. Which can destroy the enemy's biggest and sophisticated weapons in a moment.


India is believed to have already conducted a successful test. There had been unconfirmed reports blaming India for the Siachen glacier avalanche in 2012 which has caused the death of around 135 Pakistani soldiers which the sources claim as a result of KALI’s successful test melting the hard ice sheets.

There have been reports of placing the weaponized KALI in an IL-76 aircraft as an airborne defense system. Government of India has denied to give any information on this project due to its sensitiveness for national security.

Source:- Our Indian Army & Wikipedia.



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