Indian Hypersonic Propulsion Developments

vingensys

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DRDO starts work on hypersonic weapon

Sudhi Ranjan Sen
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Updated: Oct 21, 2019 05:47 IST

The Defence Research and Development (DRDO) has started work to produce a hypersonic weapon – missiles that travel at five times speed of sound, or a little over a mile every second. A wind tunnel to test and fine tune the technology will be operational soon, senior government officials who did not want to be named said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to inaugurate the facility soon, they added.

“A hypersonic weapon system is one of the many niche technologies we are exploring seriously,” one of the officials said, asking not to be named.

Billed as a “next-gen” weapon system, the race to acquire hypersonic weapons technology is heating up. China, Russia, and the United States are testing hypersonic weapons of various types to enhance strategic nuclear deterrence and strengthen front-line combat units.

Existing intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) re-entry vehicles also travel at those superfast speeds, but the hypersonic glide vehicles now in development are far more manoeuvrable, making their tracking and interception nearly impossible.

Hypersonic weapons are specifically designed for increased survivability against modern ballistic missile defence systems. These missiles are capable of delivering conventional or nuclear payloads at speeds not imagined hitertoo over long ranges.

In a bid to boost defence manufacturing in India, the DRDO is also offering 1,500 of its patents, including critical missile technology, life sciences, and naval technology, for use by Indian Industry, DRDO chairman G Satish Reddy said.

The patents can be accessed by free of cost even by start-ups and medium and small manufacturing enterprises.

Some of the patents offered for free include technologies to manufacture “man-mounted air-conditioning system”, aircraft arrester barrier system, a sliding mechanism for missile containers, lightweight high strength broadband microwave absorbing rubber, silicon-based lubricants for wide temperature range applications, low-density carbon foam, and anti-corrosive paint for application under immersed conditions, among others.

“DRDO is determined to encourage industry to develop advanced defence equipment thereby making the Make-In-India programme a success. We have today an 1,800-industry base, we are determined to enlarge this base and take the technological capability to a higher level,” Reddy said, explaining the reason behind offering patents at no cost.

Indian industry will not have pay “license fee or royalty” for any of the patented technologies, said a second senior DRDO official who did not want to be named. “DRDO won’t be just offering the technology but will also be handholding the industry and help them produce the product,” he said.

In a related development, DRDO has also tweaked its policy for “Transfer of Technology” (ToT) to the industry. No, ToT fee will be charged from the industry, DRDO Development Partners developing systems or sub-systems for military applications. And, for other industries, the ToT fee is reduced to 5% against an earlier rate of 20%. Also, no royalty is charged for supply to Indian Armed forces and other Govt departments. A nominal royalty of 2% will be charged for supply in the commercial market and for exports.

“Hypersonic weapons will become very critical in the near future. China has demonstrated that it has the technology. Others like US and Russia may already possess such weapons. It’s time that India also starts looking at these technologies,” Lieutenant General(retd) Vinod Bhatia, former Director General of Military Operations said.

DRDO starts work on ‘next-gen’ hypersonic weapon
Having tested HSTDV once, can we reasonably assume, this is wrt HGV?

If so, which wind tunnel did DRDO test their HSTDV models?
 

Gautam

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Having tested HSTDV once, can we reasonably assume, this is wrt HGV?
Most probably.
If so, which wind tunnel did DRDO test their HSTDV models?
This one, probably :
ISRO's hypersonic wind tunnel facility. One of the few such facilities in the world(there are 3 others, I think). This will prove to be absolutely vital in the development of hypersonic scramjet missiles.

There was a time we had no wind tunnels in India. When we tried using wind tunnels in foreign countries, but they were subject to a lot of restrictions and scrutiny. Then we tried to make our own wind tunnels, but the tech we needed were sanctioned/restricted by the USA and some european countries(Germany most frequently). A few decades down the line everybody has it now. NAL, HAL, ISRO, CABS, ADA--- you name it.

Now we regularly receive requests from the same countries to help them with some CFD and wind tunnel work. How times change.

I think it was Steve Jobs who once said "Time is a great equalizer"
How very true. But time is only an equalizer for those who persevere, the quitters get nothing.
View attachment 8234
There is another in the making. This one here, don't know the current status though :
 
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Ashwin

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hypersonic shock tunnel at DRDL Hyderabad, with a 1m test section and max Mach 10. At right, the new VSSC hypersonic complex, both with 1m test sections and Mach 12 max velocity. The tunnel with large tanks is blowdown-driven.





Photos of test articles in DRDL Hyderabad's hypervelocity range. Perhaps these were maneuverable reentry vehicle studies for the Agni-series? Those fins make it look awfully similar—but not identical—to the Agni-II's warhead.Photo credit: IISc Bangalore

via @divert_thruster
 

Gautam

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Indigenous Hypersonic Missile

November 4, 2019, By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd), Photo(s): By Brahmos, DARPA

1574779496297.png

BrahMos-II hypersonic cruise missile

News reports of October 2019 indicate that DRDO has commenced work on a next generation hypersonic weapon – a missile that can travel at five times the speed of sound, or a little over 1.6 km every second, and for testing and fine tuning the technology a wind tunnel will be operational soon. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to inaugurate the wind tunnel facility soon. The race to acquire hypersonic weapons technology is heating up globally. China, Russia, and the United States are testing hypersonic weapons of various types to enhance strategic nuclear deterrence and strengthen front-line combat units. Existing intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) re-entry vehicles also travel at those superfast speeds, but the hypersonic glide vehicles now in development are far more maneuverable, making their tracking and interception nearly impossible.

Hypersonic weapons are specifically designed for increased survivability against modern ballistic missile defence systems. Hypersonic vehicles typically consist of a Supersonic Combustion Ramjet, or Scramjet propulsion system to enable such high speeds. A Scramjet engine is an engine that uses 'air breathing' technology; the engine collects oxygen from the atmosphere as it is traveling and mixes the oxygen with its hydrogen fuel, creating the combustion needed for hypersonic travel. This is different than a traditional ramjet, which is used on space shuttles and satellite launches. In contrast to conventional Reentry Vehicles (RV) that travel at supersonic speeds (between Mach 1 and Mach 5), hypersonic weapons travel along the edge of space and accelerate to between Mach 5 (around 3,800 mph) and Mach 10 (over 7,500 mph). While conventional ballistic missiles are launched at steep trajectories that inhibit speed during the high friction of launch and reentry, hypersonic missiles glide atop the atmosphere while engaging specialised jet engines to perpetually accelerate up to hypersonic speeds.

Ability to travel at ultra-high velocity is the primary appeal of hypersonic missiles because it extends their range and allows them to bypass modern layered missile defences. Hypersonic missiles are capable of delivering conventional or nuclear payloads at ultra-high velocities over long ranges. Hypersonic missiles can be fired from the last stages of an ICBM or Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM) and skip along the top of the atmosphere using specialised jet engines to accelerate to hypersonic speeds. Alternatively, hypersonic missiles can be launched independently or released from a bomber, similar to cruise missiles, before accelerating to ultra-high speeds.

1574779542364.png

Falcon HTV-2

The US has invested in research and development of a hypersonic missile called the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), which uses boost glide technology to propel warheads. During a test in 2011, the glide vehicle successfully struck a target located 3,700 km away with precision. Concurrently, Lockheed Martin has developed a hypersonic vehicle called the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), which is a maneuverable rocket-launched aircraft that glides through the Earth's atmosphere at speeds up to Mach 20 (13,000 mph). US is using the HTV-2 and AHW in its 'Prompt Global Strike', which would allow the US to launch a hypersonic strike against targets anywhere on the planet in less than one hour.

Russia has been designing and testing various hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV) and hypersonic cruise missiles. Avangard, a hypersonic glider has been tested multiple times since February 2015. It can reach speeds of Mach 20 (15,000 mph). In March 2018, President Putin announced completion of testing and commencement of its series production. It was then set to become operational in late 2018 or early 2019, nearly five years ahead of schedule. India and Russia are also jointly developing the BrahMos-II hypersonic cruise missile, testing of which is ongoing. BrahMos-II is likely to enter service in Indian and Russian military in 2025. BrahMos-II will be one of the fastest hypersonic cruise missile in the world reaching speeds of Mach 7 (5,000 mph). Russia's 3M22 Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile was successfully launched in June 2017, reaching Mach 8 (6,000 mph). KH-47M2 Kinzhal is another Russian hypersonic cruise missile. It can reportedly travel as fast as Mach 10 over a distance of 1,200 miles. Kinzhal is designed to counter US missile defense systems like THAAD and heavily defended US aircraft carriers. As of May 5, 2018 ten MiG-31 fighter jets have reportedly been fitted with Kinzhal missiles.

China has been developing its hypersonic weapon capabilities with advancements in both hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV) and hypersonic cruise missiles since 2014. China's hypersonic glide vehicle 'DF-ZF' had undergone six plus development tests between 2014 and 2016. Launched during the last stage of a missile, the DF-ZF can reach nearly 7,500 mph (Mach 10), as well as maneuver to avoid missile defences and zero in on targets. Scheduled to be operational in early 2020, China claims it can attack ships at sea with precision. PLA has also been testing its DF-17 ballistic missile combined with an HGV. The DF-17 underwent two tests in November 2017. It has an estimated range of 1,100 to 1,500 miles and can reach mach 10, without losing any of its maneuverability. The DF-17 combined with HGV is also expected to be operational by 2020.

India's missile programme is impressive thank to the initial push given by former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and BrahMos-II will be good addition to India's combat capability. But considering the level of R&D and focus by China in next generation weapon systems, the DRDO will need to work with top speed in conjunction the private industry. China appears to be racing ahead not only in swarm drones warfare but there is also speculation that China may have raced ahead of the US in stealth technology.

Indigenous Hypersonic Missile
 

Gautam

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HSTDV ? Not really :
1581746514846.png


ISRO's Air Breathing Propulsion Project (ABPP) called Hypersonic Air Breathing Vehicle with Air frame integrated system (HAVA). This is what ISRO had to say about it :

Hypersonic Air Breathing Vehicle with Air frame integrated system (HAVA): It is a lifting body hypersonic vehicle integrated with scramjet engine, boosted by ADMIRE booster to an altitude of 44 km and glide down to 25 km altitude with a Mach number of 6. The objective is to demonstrate accelerating flight of a hypersonic vehicle with scramjet engine power from Mach 6 to Mach 7 in 250 seconds at constant dynamic pressure. The data base generated can be used for the design and development of a Two-Stage-to-Orbit (TSTO) vehicle, powered by air breathing combined cycle engine. Isrosene is considered as fuel for HAVA. System engineering and design has been completed.​
Fabrication of heat sink version of Scramjet test combustor, configuration of air intake cowl opening mechanism and effervescent Isrosene injector were completed. Hot test of GH2-GO2 based dump igniter was carried out.​
 
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Gautam

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ISRO's Trisonic Wind Tunnel in Thumba : Aiming for first blow down by May 2021.

EOI for the TWT was put out in 2016. It states :
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre intends to build a state of the art 1.2mx1.2m blow down type Trisonic Wind Tunnel with ejector system in the range of Mach numbers 0.2 to 4.0. The facility shall be built at Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS), Thumba, VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram, India.​
Trisonic wind tunnel is a device for generating a controlled, uniform, steady Mach number flow conditions in the test section for testing scaled models of launch vehicles, spacecraft etc. for the generation of aerodynamic data. in the subsonic, transonic and supersonic Mach number flows.​
Duration for completion of the project is 30 months from the date of award of contract till date of commissioning and Operationalisation.​

EOI doc : https://www.isro.gov.in/sites/default/files/tenders/5001-2016-4089_eoi.pdf