“We are a on a verge of a breakthrough in Ramjet technology for incorporation in artillery projectiles. If all goes as per the plan, our work will double the range of attack. This will make a substantial difference in India’s Armed Forces combat capabilities,” Professor of Practice Lt Gen (Retd) PR Shankar, department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras told
TOI. He has been the Director General of Indian Artillery and has guided it in its phase of recent modernisation.
Defence sources said that IIT Madras is likely to unveil a potentially revolutionary concept of a 155 mm ramjet-powered pseudo-missile shell that can fire at targets more than 70-80 kilometers away. Defence experts pointed out that in 2018, Norway’s Nammo showcased 155 mm Solid Fuel Ramjet projectile which will go in production between 2023 and 2024.
Explaining more about Ramjet Projectile Technologies Sharing details, he explained, “Most engines convert chemical power into motion. Power is generated when the chemical mixture of oxygen and fuel is compressed and ignited. The power generated on combustion propels motion. Normal fuels comprise significant amount of oxygen while the remaining part is the igniting agent.”
Adding that the ratio of oxygen and igniting agents is related to the range of an aircraft or jet or a vehicle, he stated: “When stated simplistically, whenever oxygen content in the fuel is reduced or increased, the range of a vehicle goes up or comes down. Ramjet is about carrying fuel rich propellants devoid of oxygen to use atmospheric oxygen to burn the fuel. When the oxygen content in fuel is decreased the range of the vehicle increases.”
Lt Gen Shankar informed that in defence sector, Ramjet-powered artillery is cutting edge technology. “What makes our effort significant is that it is made in India. Our breakthrough can cut India’s expenditure on imported ramjet missiles by up to one-fifth. In addition,” he said.
In addition to this, IIT Madras will also showcase the indigenous Multi Role Expendable UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) – which will enhance non-contact warfare capabilities of Indian Armed Forces. “We are in the process of developing a range of multi-role expendable UAVs to encompass surveillance, logistics, NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons) monitoring, and offensive roles,” he said.
The team will also display the Next Generation Fire Control Network. The network will ensure that all guns and missiles in an area work in synergy with each other to produce a force multiplicative effort. “The network being designed and engineered by IIT Madras is based on a hand-held indigenous processor called Shakti. Besides being light, it will enhance network security significantly. This is very important in times when our adversaries are increasing their cyber-attack capabilities”, he said.
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