Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) Booster

On 8th April 2022, the Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) booster missile system was successfully flight-tested by India. The testing was conducted at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha.

Overview:

  • In 2017 India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) began developing the SFDR.
  • Also, in 2018 and 2019 DRDO conducted successful tests of the SFRD.

About the missile system

This missile propulsion system is based on the Ramjet Engine principle. Aerial threats can be intercepted by the SFDR-based propulsion missile at supersonic speeds at very long range. A solid fuelled air-breathing ramjet engine is utilized by this missile system. The Ramjet, unlike solid-propellant rockets, gets oxygen during the flight from the atmosphere. This technology makes it light in weight and has the ability to carry more fuel. Defence Research and Development Laboratory, Hyderabad has collaborated with Research Centre Imarat, Hyderabad, and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, Pune for developing this system.

Significance of the SFDR

Such missile technology is currently available to only a handful of countries across the world. SFDR technology using air-to-air missiles has an increased range as oxidizers are not required by them. Instead, the missile system gets its oxygen from the atmosphere.

What is a ramjet?

A ramjet is a type of air-breathing jet engine that without a rotating compressor compresses incoming air for the purpose of combustion by using the vehicle’s forward motion. In ramjet technology, by ramming external air into the combustor high pressure is produced using the vehicle/missile’s forward speed. In this technology, the working fluid is the external air that is brought into the propulsion system. Only when the vehicle is already moving can the ramjets produce thrust and it cannot be produced when the engine is static or stationary.

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