The Kali (Kilo Ampere Linear Injector) is a linear electron accelerator being developed in india, by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). The KALI is not a laser weapon as commonly believed, but it powerful pulses of electrons (Relativistic Electron Beams-REB)

Other components in the machine down the line convert the electron energy into Electro Magnetic Radiation, which can be adjusted to X-Ray (as Flash X-Rays) or microwave frequencies (High Power Microwave). This has fuelled hopes that KALI could one day be used in a High-Power Microwave gun, which could destroy incoming missiles and aircraft through soft-kill (destroying the electronic circuitry on the Missile).


  • The KALI project was first mooted in 1985 by the then Director of BARC, Dr. R Chidambaram
  • Work on the Project began in 1989, being developed by the Accelerators & Pulse Power Division of BARC
  • DRDO is also involved with this project. It was initially developed for Industrial applications, although defence applications became clearer later
  • The First accelerator 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 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 KALI-10000 weighing 26 tons
  • They are also very power hungry and require a cooling tank of 12,000 litres of oil. Recharging time is also too long to make it as a viable weapon system in its present form


  • KALI has been put to various uses by DRDO
  • The X-Rays emitted are being used in Ballistic research as an illuminator for ultrahigh speed photography by the Defence Ballistics Research Institute (DBRL) in Chandigarh
  • The Microwave emissions are used for Electro Magnetic Research
  • The Microwave producing version of KALI has also been used by DRDO scientists for testing the vulnerability of the electronic systems of the TEJAS 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 Electro Magnetic 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 approximately 300 V/cm, while the fields in case of EMI attack reach thousands of V/cm

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