Lutyen’s Sunday Special :
The KALI (Kilo Ampere Linear Injector) is a linear electron accelerator developed in India by the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). As a common belief it is not a laser weapon. It is designed to work in such a way that if an enemy missile is launched in Indian direction, it will quickly emit powerful pulses of Relativistic Electron Beams (REB) and destroy the target. Unlike laser beams, it does not bore a hole in the target but thoroughly damages the on-board electronic systems. It can potentially be used as a beam weapon. Bursts of microwaves packed with gigawatts of power (one gigawatt is 1000 million watts) 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 KALI is far deadlier than so-called laser weapons that destroy by drilling holes since this process consumes time. Its efficiency has pushed scientists to look forward to invent a high-power microwave gun to destroy incoming aircraft and missiles, based on the same method.
The Kali project was first discussed in 1985 by the then Director of the BARC, Dr. R. Chidambaram. Work on the Project began in 1989, being developed by the Accelerators & Pulse Power Division of the BARC. (Dr. Chidambaram was also the Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister, and the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission). DRDO is also involved with this project. It was initially developed for industrial applications, although defence applications became clearer later.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.
The KALI-5000 was commissioned for use in late 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.
Facts about the weapon:
- The Kali project was first initiated by the then Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Dr. R. Chidambaram in the year 1985
- Work on the project began in 1989
- The project was initially developed for industrial applications. Its use as a defence weapon was later suggested by the designers of the project
- The KALI series which are KALI 80, KALI 200, KALI 1000, KALI 5000 and KALI 10000 are described as ‘Single Shot Pulsed Gigawatt Electron Accelerators’
- The single shot devices use water filled capacitors to build the charge energy
- It has been reported that the project’s potential as a defence weapon has made it a threat for China
- The beams from the weapon can shatter any satellite and UAVs in no time
- Its ability to emit powerful pulses of electrons and the conversion of electron energy into E.M. Radiation fuelled the hopes that the KALI could be used in a High-Power Microwave gun
- The X-Rays emitted by it are being used as an illuminator for ultrahigh speed photography
- Electronic components currently used in project can withstand fields of approximately 300 volt per centimetre
- The Relativistic Electron Beams (REB) can be used for the generation of High Power Microwaves (HPM) & Flash X Rays (FXR).