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Big Breakthrough: DRDL successfully conducts testing of Liquid Fuel for indigenous Ramjet Engine, that will power BrahMos and STAR Missiles

Source : IgMp Bureau

Big Breakthrough: DRDL successfully conducts testing of Liquid Fuel for indigenous Ramjet Engine, that will power BrahMos and STAR Missiles
Representative Image ( BrahMos missile’s current Ramjet engine)

The Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), a pivotal player in Indian missile development under the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), has achieved a significant milestone with the successful testing of liquid fuel designed for indigenous Ramjet engines. This breakthrough fuels the development of the Supersonic Target (STAR) missile and potentially the BrahMos missile in the future.

Driving Indigenous Advancements: DRDL’s Breakthrough in Ramjet Engine Technology

The Ramjet engine, a crucial component utilized in India’s formidable BrahMos missile system, has historically relied on a specialized liquid fuel imported from Russia. However, DRDO’s relentless pursuit of enhancing indigenous content within the BrahMos missile has led to a groundbreaking achievement. Commencing with a modest 50% indigenous content, the BrahMos missile has now soared to an impressive 78% indigenous content, a testament to DRDO’s commitment to self-reliance in defense technology.

Landmark Achievement: Development of Liquid Ramjet Fuel by DMSRDE

On January 22, 2024, the Times of India reported a landmark achievement by DRDO’s Defense Materials & Stores Research & Development Establishment (DMSRDE). DMSRDE successfully developed liquid Ramjet fuel tailored for advanced air-breathing engines, a critical milestone in bolstering indigenous capabilities. The fuel, meticulously crafted, promises unparalleled performance even in extreme temperatures, withstanding lows as daunting as -50 to -55 degrees Celsius.

Successful Testing at DRDL: Paving the Path for Future Missile Systems

On May 8, 2024, the liquid Ramjet fuel underwent its maiden test at the Ramjet Test bed within DRDL’s premises, marking a pivotal moment in India’s missile development journey. Industry giants such as M/s BPCL and M/s Mineral Oil Corporation Pvt Ltd have played instrumental roles as industry partners in this endeavor, contributing to the realization of indigenous defense technologies.

STAR Missile: Redefining Supersonic Target Capabilities

DRDO’s pursuit of indigenous excellence extends beyond the BrahMos missile to the development of the Supersonic TARget (STAR) missile. Crafted within DRDL’s laboratories, STAR emerges as a groundbreaking supersonic target, essential for testing a myriad of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles.

star image03
Supersonic Target (STAR) missile CGI by Kuntal Biswas

Propulsion Innovation: Embracing Liquid Fuel Ramjet Engine

Central to STAR’s propulsion system is the Liquid Fuel Ramjet engine (LFRJ), mirroring the architecture of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This innovative propulsion mechanism endows STAR with extended endurance and range, epitomizing the pinnacle of indigenous technological prowess.

Versatile Applications: Naval and Ground/Aerial Deployments

STAR’s versatility transcends naval and ground/arial domains, offering a holistic defense solution. In naval applications, STAR assumes the role of a potent training tool, simulating the challenges posed by modern anti-ship missiles like MBDA’s Exocet. Additionally, its sea-skimming capabilities mirror those of the BrahMos missile, further enhancing its utility in maritime defense scenarios.

Strategic Deployment: Anti-AWACS & Anti-Radiation Missile

Harnessing the inherent advantages of the Ramjet engine, STAR holds immense potential for developing Anti-AWACS & Anti-Radiation missiles, augmenting India’s defense capabilities comprehensively. DRDO’s strategic roadmap includes the adaptation of STAR technology for integration with LCA Tejas Mark1A and Mark-II, envisioning a formidable arsenal against airborne threats.

In essence, DRDL’s breakthrough in liquid Ramjet fuel heralds a new era of indigenous defense innovation, propelling India towards self-reliance and technological supremacy in missile development. As STAR takes flight, it symbolizes the nation’s unwavering resolve to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests through cutting-edge indigenous technologies.

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