Indo-Russian Joint Venture to Develop Hypersonic Missile

BrahMos Aerospace To Add Hypersonic Missile –

Firstly, BrahMos Aerospace is a joint venture between India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO, equivalent to the US’ DARPA) and NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia. Brahmos is derived from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva river of Russia. Brahmos Aerospace produces the Brahmos missile used by India’s armed forces. The Brahmos missile uses a supersonic, rocket-ramjet hybrid motor, achieving a top speed of about Mach 3.0 and a range of 290 km (180 miles). The missile weighs about 3 tons (300 kg/660 lbs warhead) and is 8.4 m (28 ft) long. It is the world’s fastest cruise missile. The US’ Tomahawk is subsonic, cruising at 880 kph (550 mph).
The Brahmos missile is very similar to the cancelled Talos missile of the US Navy. The Talos was 11.6 m (38 ft) long, weighed 3500 kg (7800 lbs), with a warhead capability of 136 kg (300 lbs) and had a range of 185 km (115 miles) at a cruising speed of Mach 2.5.

Both the Brahmos and the Talos use rocket-boosted ramjet motors.

Brahmos Aerospace has announced plans for the Brahmos-2,a hypersonic cruise missile. The deal to start the development of Brahmis 2 was signed during the visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedyev to India in December 2010, according to this Chinese news article.

The Brahmos-2 will have a scramjet engine in place of the ramjet engine on the Brahmos-1, according to their website.

I definitely agree that this is a reliable method, to go hypersonic in 2 steps, using the tried and tested rocket motor to go from Mach 0 to the scramjet lighting speed. The rocket motor must be kept on long enough to allow the scramjet to light, which is the tricky part. Once lighted, the rocket can be cut off.

Those familiar with scramjet development might remember the HySHOT and HiFire experiments conducted at the Woomera test range in central Australia, a joint hypersonic experimental study between US’ DARPA and Australia’s DSTO. See a news article on the HiFire experiments here. The methodology adopted in the HySHOT/HiFire experiments was to place a scramjet module at the nose of a sounding rocket which was then launched up on a parabolic trajectory. The scramjet would then be lighted on the downward journey when the appropriate inlet-starting Mach number was attained. In one or more tests, the HiFire scramjet was reported to have reached up to Mach 7.6.


About propulsiontech

Propulsion technologist, aerospace engineer
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