March 7, 2013: India has ordered the first fifty Sudarshan laser guided smart bombs. The Sudarshan was developed in India and is being produced in India. This comes half a century after the United States developed the first laser guided bomb, a system that was developed from work the Germans had done two decades earlier on radio guided bombs. The U.S. also developed radio guided bombs during World War II, but these were not as effective as the German designs and U.S. efforts in this area were dropped, until resumed in the 1950s.
Development of Sudarshan began seven years ago and was handled by the DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization). DRDO has been responsible for many military development disasters and expensive failures, but not this time. Sudarshan was designed for 450 kg (990 pound) bombs. The current version has a range of nine kilometers. A new version will have glide range extended to 50 kilometers and the flight stability of Sudarshan improved.