Successful Flight Test of SFDR (Download PDF)

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Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) successfully flight tested 2nd indigenously developed ‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) ’ propulsion-based missile system from ITR, Chandipur, Odisha. Ground booster, separation of ground booster & Nozzle-less-booster performance were found satisfactory.

Image of Flight Test of SFDR

Image of Flight Test of SFDR

Image of Flight Test of SFDR

  • This Missile was guided to high altitude to simulate aircraft release conditions & subsequently nozzle-less-booster was ignited.

  • SFDR based missile accelerated to achieve ramjet Mach number successfully.

  • Success of SFDR propulsion technology is significant milestone & will pave way for development of long-range air-to-air missiles in country.

  • Raksha Mantri congratulated DRDO & associated team members for stupendous mission.

Why is Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet Better Than Conventional Missile Systems?

  • The present booster/sustainer configuration with solid or liquid propellants, have limitations against manoeuvring targets, since conventional missiles, at the terminal stage, cannot provide enough energy to maintain their speed in order to hit the targets.

  • SFDR technology will exceptionally enhance endgame manoeuvrability at the terminal stage when the seeker is locked onto a target.

  • Ramjets require a rocket booster, or gun launch, to achieve a flight condition where thrust is greater than drag, which for missiles is approximately Mach 2, at which point the ramjet is capable of accelerating to higher speed.

  • Since the ramjet propulsion system depends only on its forward motion at supersonic speed to compress intake air, the engine flow-path components have no moving parts.

  • Consequently, it has inherent simplicity, reliability, lightweight and high-speed flight capability not possible with other air-breathing engines.

  • These attributes make the ramjet a good choice for propelling medium-calibre cannon ammunition at supersonic speed.

  • Unlike traditional rocket motor, SFDR can throttle its engine during different phases of flight especially while approaching its target it can throttle up and able to manoeuvre and attack even rapidly manoeuvring targets.

Significance

  • Development of extended range missiles such as surface-to-air and long-range air-to-air missiles including an advanced version of the ASTRA beyond visual range AAM (BVRAAM) expected to extend the Astra Km 1 75 km range to 150 km in the Mk-3 version.

  • SFDR has a range of 120 km with a speed range of 2.3 - 2.5 Mach.

  • Ground-launched SFDR would accelerate a missile over 250 km. A potential application of the Indo-Russian SFDR is extended range SAM – such as the futuristic Indian SAM-X.

  • Examples of this technology are the MBDA Meteor, Chinese PL-12D and the US Triple Threat Terminator (T-3) missile developed by Boeing as a possible AMRAAM successor.

  • Ramjet propulsion in Europe, Russia, and China extended missile range from 100 km to 200 km, and achieve a maximum speed of Mach 3 – 4. Ramjets were also used to accelerate hypersonic vehicles.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 21, 2019

Defense

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