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Video: India carries out a test of new ramjet engine to power missiles

DRDO conducted flight test of Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) Technology on March 5, 2021. (DRDO/Released)
March 10, 2021

India has added another success to its spree of testing and developing new-age weapon systems. On Friday, India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) technology demonstrator, the missile system carrying the SFDR engine, according to the Ministry of Defense.

The test was performed at Integrated Test Range Chandipur off the coast of Odisha on Friday morning. The entire flight path was monitored by tracking and telemetry systems with electro-optical instruments assisted by radar modules installed on-site by the DRDO team.

The onboard subsystems, including the booster rocket motor, propulsion module, and nozzle-less motor performed as expected, according to DRDO officials.

The test succeeded in all parameters and achieved the intended flight evaluation, a success marked by DRDO senior scientists and other personnel at the test site.

During announcing the success of technology demonstrator, DRDO said, “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.”

Flight tests were monitored by senior scientists of various DRDO labs including Defense Research and Development Laboratory, Research Center Imarat, and, High Energy Material Research Laboratory.

India started working on SFDR technology back in 2013, and the first ground-based testing began in 2017. DRDO previously conducted the SFDR test twice — the first flight test in 2018 resulted in failure, and the second achieved desired Mach speed.

The recent test involved high-end major testing of a fully developed SFDR system, and with the data gained, DRDO will begin further advancement in missile technology.

SFDR works on the principle of thrust-modulated ducked rocket with a reduced-smoke, nozzle-less missile booster.

This type of propulsion system significantly enhances the range with higher average speed. The missiles that use such a system are also able to carry a larger payload due to the absence of oxidizer. Unlike solid-propellant rockets, the Ramjet takes up oxygen from the atmosphere during flight.