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SOLID FUEL DUCTED RAMJET (SFDR) BOOSTER

Context

India successfully flight-tested the Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) booster missile system on April 8, 2022. The experiments were carried out at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha.

Key Points

  • The SFDR was developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in 2017.
  • In addition, the DRDO successfully tested the SFRD in 2018 and 2019.

The missile defence system

  • The Ramjet Engine principle underpins this missile propulsion system. 
  • Aerial threats can be intercepted at supersonic speeds and over a great distance by the SFDR-based propulsion missile. 
  • This missile system employs a solid-fuelled air-breathing ramjet engine. Unlike solid-propellant rockets, the Ramjet obtains oxygen from the atmosphere during flight.
  • Because of this technology, it is less in weight and can carry more fuel. 
  • This system was developed in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Laboratory in Hyderabad, the Research Centre Imarat in Hyderabad, and the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory in Pune.

The SFDR's Importance

Only a few countries in the world now have access to such missile technology. SFDR technology employing air-to-air missiles offers a greater range because oxidizers are not required. Instead, the missile system obtains its oxygen from the surrounding atmosphere.

What is a ramjet?

  • A ramjet is a type of air-breathing jet engine that, in the absence of a revolving compressor, compresses incoming air for combustion by utilising the vehicle's forward momentum. 
  • Ramjet technique generates high pressure by slamming external air into the combustor while leveraging the vehicle/forward missile's speed. The working fluid in this technique is the external air that is introduced into the propulsion system.
  • Ramjets can only produce thrust when the vehicle is moving, and it cannot be produced when the engine is static or motionless.

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