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Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) Technology

Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) Technology

Why in news?

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Friday successfully carried out a flight demonstration based on Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) technology from Integrated Test Range (ITR) Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
  • Successful demonstration of SFDR 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.


What is SFDR technology?  | Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) Technology

  • SFDR technology is a missile propulsion system based on the concept of Ramjet Engine principle.
  • 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.
  • Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds but they are not efficient at hypersonic speeds.
  • 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.
  • The development and demonstration of SFDR propulsion system is a joint venture of DRDO and Russia.
  • DRDO began developing SFDR first in 2017 and had conducted successful tests in 2018 and 2019 as well.
  • India’s new surface-to-air missile, powered by Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet achieved a speed of Mach 3 during its first test flight in May 2018.
  • The missile, which is viewed as the Indian version of the French Meteor, was launched from the Integrated Test Range facility off the coast of Odisha.

Significance of SFDR Technology  | Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) Technology

  • The successful demonstration of the technology will enable DRDO to develop long-range air to air missiles. So far such technology is available only with a handful of countries in the world.
  • The technology can also achieve longer ranges as they do not require oxidizers as they take oxygen from the atmosphere.


Applications | Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) Technology

  • Ramjets can be particularly useful in applications requiring a small and simple mechanism for high-speed use, such as missiles.
  • They have also been used successfully, though not efficiently, as tip jets on the end of helicopter rotors.

Some of the recent tests conducted by DRDO  | Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) Technology

  • Helina and Dhruvastra: Anti-tank Guided Missile
  • Smart Anti Airfield Weapon
  • Army Variant of MRSAM
  • Land-attack Version of BrahMos Missile
  • Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile System
  • Enhanced Version of Pinaka Mk-1 Missile
  • NAG Missile: Anti Tank Guided Missile

Difference between SFDR and Conventional Missiles

  • SFDR propulsion technology is different from conventional solid fuelled or liquid fuelled missiles.
  • At present lot of conventional missiles uses booster or sustainer configuration with solid or liquid propellants, which have limitations against manoeuvring target.
  • This is because terminal stage of conventional missiles cannot provide enough energy to maintain their speed in order to hit targets. SDFR technology removes this drawback by exceptionally enhancing endgame manoeuvrability of missile at terminal stage when its seeker is locked onto target.
  • (Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) Technology)


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