General Studies IIISecurity

DRDO conducts successful flight test of Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet

Ministry of Defence

Key Highlights:

  • Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully carried out a flight demonstration based on Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) technology.
  • Test conducted at Chandipur coast of Odisha on March 05, 2021.
  • All the subsystems, including the booster motor and nozzle-less motor, performed as expected.
  • During the test, many new technologies were proven, including Solid Fuel based Ducted Ramjet technology.
  • Successful demonstration of Solid Fuel based Ducted Ramjet technology has provided DRDO with a technological advantage which will enable it to develop long range air-to-air missiles.
  • At present, such technology is available only with a handful of countries in the world.
  • During the test, air launch scenario was simulated using a booster motor. Subsequently, the nozzle-less booster accelerated it to the required Mach number for Ramjet operation.
  • The performance of the missile was monitored using the data captured by Electro Optical, Radar and Telemetry instruments deployed by ITR and confirmed successful demonstration of the mission objectives.
  • The launch was monitored by senior scientists of various DRDO labs, including Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL), Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory(HEMRL).

What is ramjet technology?

  • ramjet, sometimes referred to as a flying stovepipe or an athodyd (aero thermodynamic duct)
  • A ramjet is a form of air-breathing jet engine that uses the vehicle’s forward motion to compress incoming air for combustion without a rotating compressor.
  • Fuel is injected in the combustion chamber where it mixes with the hot compressed air and ignites.
  • A ramjet-powered vehicle requires an assisted take-off like a rocket assist to accelerate it to a speed where it begins to produce thrust.
  • Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) and can operate up to speeds of Mach 6. 
  • However, the ramjet efficiency starts to drop when the vehicle reaches hypersonic speeds.

What is Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet?

  • The Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet is a missile propulsion system that includes a thrust modulated ducted rocket with a reduced smoke nozzle-less missile booster.
  • The thrust modulation in the system is achieved using a hot gas flow controller.
  • The system utilises a solid fuelled air-breathing ramjet engine.
  • As of 2017, the missile system has a range of about 120 kilometres at an altitude of 8 kilometres, with a speed of 2.3-2.5 Mach.
  • As per International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), this kind of propulsion system drastically enhances the range with higher average speed.
  • The missiles which use such system are also able to carry larger payload due to absence of an oxidizer. Unlike solid-propellant rocket, the Ramjet takes up oxygen from the atmosphere during flight.
  • Officially, the technology is being developed to power future Indian air-to-air missiles.
  • However, the technology can also be applied to surface-to-air missiles.
  • In its current form, the SFDR-based missile first requires to be boosted into a high-altitude trajectory to simulate aircraft-launch conditions.
  • Subsequently, the nozzle-less booster fires up and guides the missile through its desired trajectory.


Leave a Reply

Open chat
Hello Dear Aspirant,
Join our whatsapp group here to get Daily Newspapers, Magazines, Monthly, Question Banks and much more..
Just ping us your Name..
See you then..!!!