January 25, 2010:
India has successfully tested locally developed laser guided bombs. While India can buy laser guided bombs from Russia, it is seen as better to design and build these weapons locally. Then there's always the desire to keep up with China, which recently introduced a new laser guided bomb; the LT-2. This weapon looks very similar to the Russian KAB-500L 1100 pound laser guided bomb. So the LT-2 may be using licensed or stolen Russian technology. The KAB-500L is very similar to the American Paveway series of laser guided bombs. That is, a dumb bomb has a guidance kit attached. Sixteen years ago, China introduced a laser guided bomb that appeared to be reverse engineered U.S. Paveway. These apparently did not perform very well, so China used Russian smart bombs as a model.
Laser guided bombs have been around since the late 1960s, when the U.S. developed the first weapons of this type. American bombers used laser guided bombs successfully in the final years of the Vietnam war. The technology required is not particularly difficult, although there are a lot of little things you need, from trial and error, to make the weapons reliable.