Bangalore: The second indigenously developed ‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)’ propulsion-based missile system was successfully flight tested in Odisha by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Friday. “The success of SFDR propulsion technology is a significant milestone and will pave the way for the development of long-range air-to-air missiles in the country,” a Defence statement said.

Here’s all you need to know about the Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet:

  1. The DRDO on Friday successfully conducted the flight test of second indigenously developed ‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)’ propulsion-based missile system in Odisha.
  2. The success of SFDR propulsion technology will pave the way for the development of long-range air-to-air missiles in the country.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The Indian SFDR will be used as variants of missiles such as the advanced version of ASTRA.

During a trial conducted in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Balasore district, the performance of the separation of a ground booster and nozzle-less-booster performance were found satisfactory.

The Office of the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri / Defence Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, on the official Twitter handle, congratulated DRDO for reaching its significant milestone toward the development of indigenous long-range air-to-air missiles. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also congratulated the associated team members for the “stupendous mission”.

The missile system was guided to high-altitude to simulate aircraft release conditions. Subsequently, the nozzle-less-booster was ignited. The SFDR-based missile successfully achieved the ramjet Mach number. The trajectory was tracked by telemetry and radar stations till touchdown. Notably, during the trial, all the objectives of the mission were met.

Meanwhile, in a conference conducted last month, scientist and chairman of DRDO G Satheesh Reddy said that the indigenous development of sensors would play a great role and revolutionise applications like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for commercial and defence applications.

(With Agency inputs)