Hyderabad: DRDO scientists have announced a major technological breakthrough with the successful development of composite rocket motor casings. Constructed from composite materials, these rocket motor casings will drastically reduce the weight of missiles and enable them to reach longer ranges with heavier payloads.
Working under pressure, to get around the crippling effects resulting from the denial of advanced technology by the missile technology control regime, scientists from DRDO's Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), Hyderabad, developed the technology in a time span of four years.
So far, this technology has been the exclusive preserve only of the United States, Russia and a European consortium.
K. Jayaraman, director (composites), ASL, is quoted as saying that, as compared to the development of similar technology elsewhere in the world, the development of the CRMC by ASL in four years was much shorter.
According to ASL officials, the first large composite motor with carbon filament winding was realised after being subjected to ''full qualification and static tests.''
The flight trial of a missile, with the CRMC technology in place, would ''happen shortly,'' officials have said.
Most missiles have metallic rocket motor casings made of maraging or other varieties of steel. Composite carbon filament wound motors have a decisive advantage in that they can reduce the weight of a rocket casing by 40 per cent, enabling the missile to carry heavier payloads. What results through this technology is that the payload, equivalent to the weight reduced, may go up in a missile or its range could be increased. Alternatively a combination of both may also be brought to bear.
Other critical benefits that accrue include cost reduction by half as compared to metallic casings and better performance and longer storage due to non-corrosive nature of the material.