With eye on China, India joins race to weaponize quantum tech in future military conflicts
(News18) India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) made an announcement on February 23 that can have huge ramifications in the future for developing military technologies. The official statement given by the DRDO stated that a joint team of DRDO and IIT-Delhi successfully demonstrated a Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) link for the very first time in the country between the cities of Prayagraj and Vindhyachal in the state of Uttar Pradesh. An interesting thing to note is that these cities are located at a distance of 100 kilometres from each other. This marks the beginning of the Indian military complex utilising an emerging technology like quantum to enhance domestic defensive capabilities.
The Potential Warfare Applications
The second quantum revolution witnessed in the past decade threw open many possibilities of developing credible commercial applications using quantum technology. It also led to the possibility of using quantum technology in the security and military domain. While military applications using quantum tech are still in the process of development, it is imperative to recognise the ability of this kind of technology to gain an upper hand when it comes to the security aspect.
China’s quantum satellites have been touted as potential devices that be used to gain unauthorised access to crucial information. Even modern-day security systems seem to be vulnerable to the emergence of such technologies. Hence, there have been efforts to build secure systems using new technologies like quantum to ensure encryption and privacy remain uncompromised. Such new mechanisms include quantum cryptographic systems and quantum key distribution (QKD) systems. The recent announcement of the DRDO also shows that the Indian military is now looking at developing indigenous technology of secure key transfer for bootstrapping military-grade communication security.