Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the second indigenously developed ‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)’ propulsion based missile system from ITR, Chandipur, Odisha. Ground booster, separation of ground booster and Nozzle-less-booster performance were found satisfactory.
- Missile was guided to high altitude to simulate aircraft release conditions and subsequently nozzle-less-booster was ignited.
- SFDR based missile accelerated to achieve ramjet Mach number successfully. The trajectory was tracked by telemetry and radar stations till touchdown. All the mission objectives have been met.
- The success of SFDR propulsion technology is a significant milestone and will pave the way for development of long range air-to-air missiles in the country.
- The ramjet propulsion system used in the SFDR acts as an oxidizer and the solid propellant reacts as air flows through a solid propellant duct.
- Unlike conventional rockets that carry propellant and oxidizer, Ramjet uses the air as an oxidizer just like a jet engine. Therefore the weight of the fuel required is eliminated.
- The SFDR propulsion is designed in such a way that it allows for an up and down throttling. This further lets the missile to amplify its speed until it reaches the terminal phase of the flight.
- The speed increases until the point when sharp turns are required to search for highly manoeuvring targets.
- The first flight of SFDR, developed under a joint Indo-Russian R&D project, was tested in 2018. It had achieved the speed of Mach 3.
- The Indian SFDR will be used as variants of missiles such as the advanced version of ASTRA.