Wednesday, June 30, 2010

India hopes to launch 'Chandrayaan-2' by 2013

The chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Radhakrishnan has said India is preparing to launch its second moon mission 'Chandrayaan-2' by 2013.
"The Chandrayaan-2 we are planning to have in the year 2013 and by that time we should have our GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) flying with the Indigenous Cryogenic Engine Stage that's the target with which we are working," Radhakrishnan told reporters in Kolkata.
Radhakrishnan said some snags have been identified in flight-testing of the Indigenous Cryogenic Engine, which is being analysed.
He said this would be sorted out in about a year.
"A flight testing of the Indigenous Cryogenic Engine Stage, in April, and as you know we had some snags there. We went through a very detailed analysis as to what happens and why it happens and we have come to a couple of scenarios in which such a snag would have occurred and our immediate task is to confirm that through testing on the ground and then prepare for the next flight testing. This should happen in year from now," he added.
The Chandrayaan-2 is the second unmanned lunar exploration mission that ISRO is pursuing.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

‘Tarkash’ Launched on 23 Jun 10

The second of the three follow on Talwar class stealth frigates being built by Yantar Shipyard, Kaliningrad, Russia was ceremoniously launched on 23 Jun 10 by Mrs Ramma Dewan, wife of Vice Admiral D K Dewan, the Vice Chief of Naval Staff. The launching ceremony was attended by Governer of Kaliningrad Region, The Commander-in-Chief of Baltic Fleet of Russian Federation and other senior dignitaries from the Russian side in addition to Senior Indian Navy officers posted in Russia.
The frigate, christened ‘Tarkash’ during the ceremony, belongs to the elite Talwar Class of ships, three of which namely Talwar, Trishul and Tabar are already in service with the Indian Navy. The first follow on ship, christened ‘Teg’ was launched on 27 Nov 09. These frigates have been constructed to suit Indian Navy’s specific requirements and are highly potent platforms. Their mission in Navy spans the entire spectrum of Naval warfare, viz Air, Surface and Sub-surface. The ships are capable of operating in Blue waters, and are at the forefront of the Indian Navy task forces.
The features of the follow-on ships have been upgraded to a higher level of sophistication with the experience gained by the Navy in operation of the first three ships. ‘Tarkash’, which means ‘Quiver’, will also carry supersonic Brahmos missile system with vertical launch capability, which is an Indo-Russian joint venture. True to its name, Tarkash carries cutting edge weaponry which includes advanced Surface to Air missiles, 100 mm Caliber Guns (artillery), Close Range Guns, Torpedos, Rocket Launchers and associated Fire Control Systems. The ship will also carry one Russian built Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopter Ka-31.
The ship is powered by four powerful Gas Turbines giving it a top speed of 30 knots. The vessel is fitted with state-of-the-art Navigation, Communication and Electronic Warfare Equipment. It is also equipped with highly advanced Radar and Sonar systems for early detection and warning. ‘Tarkash’ is scheduled to join the Indian Navy in the second half of 2011, post commissioning in Russia.

ISRO plans to launch satellite to study greenhouse gases

With growing importance being placed on climate change and mitigation strategies, India's space agency ISRO is in the process of launching a satellite to study greenhouse gases,
"In the next 2-3 years, ISRO will carry out the first of the launches which will be dedicated to (studying) greenhouses gases like carbondioxide, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide and things of that kind," Planning Commission Member and former chief of ISRO, Dr K Kasturirangan told reporters here today.
The satellite was in design stages and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, which will play a substantial role in the funding of this project, has asked ISRO if the measurements relating to the gases could be made globally.
"The US and Japan have already put such satellites and the idea is to see if India can look at the greenhouse gases using satellite sensors," Kasturirangan said.

ISRO may launch nano satellite in September

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is likely to launch in September a nano satellite being built by students of SRM University in Chennai, a senior official said on Saturday.
"The satellite is being built by the students. It has to be tested before it can be included as a payload. Perhaps in September, the satellite may be launched," V S Hegde, Scientific Secretary ISRO said.
The space agency is also planning soon to launch Cartosat, a cartography satellite, he told reporters on the sidelines of Indian Youth Science Congress, which was held at SRM University campus.
On the failure of ISRO's GSLV that flew with indigenously developed cryogenic engine in April this year, Hegde said "The failure analysis committee is looking into the causes. The committee is expected to submit its report soon".

Friday, June 25, 2010

LCA's Naval version prepares to roll out

India's first indigenous Naval Light Combat Aircraft, the LCA (Navy) NP1 is scheduled to roll out from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) design hangar on July 6.

The Defence Ministry has said that the aircraft will be an important milestone for the prestigious Naval Program of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bangalore.

The Chief of The Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma would be the Chief Guest at the function.

'Roll-Out' is a significant milestone when the aircraft is brought out of the build hangar, where the aircraft is actually assembled part by part, ready for the phase of systems integration tests leading to Ground runs, taxi trials and flight.

Once the ground based tests are completed, the NP1 is expected to fly by the end of this year and the NP2 is likely to fly by the end of 2011.

The aircraft, with state of the art technologies and punch, is designed to operate from the future Indigenous aircraft carriers the Navy plans to acquire.

The LCA (Navy) program was sanctioned by the Government in 2003.

The first stage of development includes design and fabrication of one Trainer and one Fighter, NP1 and NP2 respectively, along with a Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF) at Goa.

The SBTF will be used to simulate carrier take off and arrested landing.

The NP1 would be flying with the GE-F-404-IN20 engine and is designed for ski jump take off and arrested landing.

The only carrier borne aircraft in the light category in the world, it will be operating with a wide variety of operational weapons and equipment like the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile, Anti-ship Missiles, Conventional bombs, Air Defence guns, CCM's and drop tanks.

The Indian Navy, the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA), in the development of its aircraft, have played an important role right from its inception supporting the program.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nag hits a moving target in 3.2 seconds

Anti-tank missile Nag on Sunday was successfully test-fired from the Army's Field Firing Range at Shamirpet, near here. This time it hit a moving object. Last Sunday (June 6), it destroyed a stationary target and proved its capability of destroying a target at a close range of 500 metres in three seconds.

This Sunday, Nag smashed the moving target in 3.2 seconds after its launch at 10.30 a.m., a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) official told TheHindu. The test-firing was conducted by missile scientists from the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) after the Army requested for a close range launch on a moving target. The missile punched a hole as it pierced through the target, which was specially developed by Hyderabad-based Delta Technologies in collaboration with DRDL.

Director of Research Centre Imarat (RCI), S.K. Ray, RCI Associate Director S.K. Chaudhuri, Director of Missile Systems Quality Assurance Agency Commodore S. Patel and other DRDO officials were present.

With the land version of the missile already proving a maximum range of four km in the user trials held in the last two years in Rajasthan, the official said Nag had a higher lock-on before launch range compared to contemporary third generation anti-tank missiles. As the missile is expected to be cleared for induction by the Army after the final validation trials next month, the pre-production process was on at Bharat Dynamics Limited here.

Equipped with an active Imaging Infra-red seeker to make it highly accurate, the missile has top-attack capability to defeat the armour of modern-day tanks. The missile carries a highly potent HEAT (high explosive anti-tank) warhead and could be launched during both day and night.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Supersonic fighter is on its way

India’s fighter strength has been declining in the recent years, as the MiG-21s that comprises the bulk of its fleet are lost in crashes, or retired due to age and wear. While the buzz might be around the multi-billion dollar medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal for the purchase of 126 fighter planes for which American, Russian, French, Swedish and European fighter makers are hot in the race, but that still leaves replacement of the MiG-21 fleet.

In such a scenario, the news that Tejas, India’s second indigenous jet fighter design, after the HF-24 Marut of the 1950s, successfully undertook its maiden test flight this month, has brought cheers to the country’s defence establishment. With this successful flight, the indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) programme is close to the initial operations clearance, which is expected to be completed by December this year, according to Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO). The remaining effort will mostly revolve around flight testing and demonstration of sensors and weapon performance. In a nutshell: After long delays, Tejas is scheduled for induction into Indian Air Force (IAF) service in December, 2010.

Tejas is being built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy. The LCA was designed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in Bangalore. The IAF has a requirement of 140 single-seat fighters and 20 two-seat LCA trainers for squadron service in the next 10 years. It has ordered 20 LCAs, which are scheduled to be delivered by 2013. Development is underway for the naval version of the LCA, which can be operated from an aircraft carrier. Two naval prototypes will be manufactured and flown to obtain clearance for deck operations.

Tracing its history, the LCA project was sanctioned in 1982 with a budget of Rs 560 crore to develop a F-16 class fighter aircraft to replace MiG-21 fighters in the IAF. Analysts inform that close to Rs 6,000 crore has been spent in the country’s efforts to upgrade its national defence capabilities through home-made production of fighter planes.

Tejas is claimed to be the world’s smallest, light weight, multi-role combat aircraft designed to meet the requirements of Indian Air Force as its frontline multi-mission single-seat tactical aircraft to replace the MiG-21 series of aircraft. The

Tejas design has been configured to match the demands of modern combat scenario such as speed, acceleration, maneuverability and agility. The LCA integrates modern design concepts like static instability, digital fly-by-wire flight control system, integrated avionics, glass cockpit, primary composite structure, multi-mode radar, microprocessor based utility and brake management systems.

Senior scientists from Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) and Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) have been involved in the development and flight test planning of the newly integrated flight control software which was used by the test aircraft.

According to PS Subramanyam, programme director, ADA, the Tejas team is now heading to central India to carry out hot weather trials.

Designed as a single-engine tactical fighter, Tejas has a compound delta-wing platform to achieve weight reductions. The wing design, combined with a blended-wing body, delivers high performance. The design allows the aircraft to be integrated with guided air-to-surface and anti-ship weapons for multi-role and multi-mission capabilities. The fuselage is a thin walled and integrally stiffened structure, designed to sustain internal pressure without stiffener debonding. It features complex shapes and contours using integral structures in large scale.

The glass cockpit is equipped with a head-up display (HUD) and two multifunction displays (MFDs) that provide the required information to the pilot.

The HUD displays critical information required in close combat situations. The modern avionics systems and an effective pilot-vehicle interface are installed in the cockpit. The hands on throttle and stick (HOTAS) concept ensures the availability of all flight controls during adverse conditions.

Among others, Tejas features an integrated digital avionics suite, configured around the MIL-STD-1553B bus system. The 32-bit mission computer (MC) can perform mission-oriented computations, flight management, reconfiguration/redundancy management and in-flight system self tests.

On the weapons side, Tejas is claimed to be a precision weapon launch platform with seven hardpoints to carry a range of air-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, unguided rockets and conventional/retarded bombs. The air-to-air missiles include Astra BVRAAM, Vympel R-77 and R-73. The air-to-surface missiles are Kh-59ME TV guided stand-off missile and Kh-59MK laser-guided stand-off missile.

A 23mm twin-barrel GSh-23 cannon is also mounted on the fighter aircraft.

The advanced multimode radar (MMR) track-while-scan feature allows the tracking and engaging of multiple targets simultaneously. It also provides ground mapping and look-down shoot-down capabilities. The sensor suite provides threat detection, and a low visual signature that helps the aircraft to perform better in close air combat environments. The LCA can also be fitted with additional sensors for guidance, navigation and reconnaissance purposes.

Most importantly, Tejas is powered by a General Electric F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engine. The engine is rated to supply 53.9kN dry thrust and 85kN thrust with afterburn. Fuel tanks are integrated into the fuselage and wings, and auxiliary fuel tanks of 800lt and 1,200lt can be fitted under fuselage to extend the range. An in-flight refuelling probe is also fitted to the starboard side to further extend Tejas’s range and endurance.

India’s efforts to become self-reliant by taking up home production of Tejas aircraft were marred by hitches in the development phase. Through the use of modern design techniques, the indigenous effort might take to the skies soon.

Pak stares at India, India at the world

ISLAMABAD: When a senior security official here was asked why Pakistan was not developing long-range missiles, unlike in India, his answer revealed how these two nuclear foes' geopolitical priorities may be diverging. "We don't have ambitions like India has, so we don't need to develop any further long-range missiles," he said.
"Our missiles cover the entire India, so that's it." Indeed, India has raised eyebrows developing a new long-range missile with a capacity to hit most of China, a signal of how New Delhi's focus is tentatively moving away from an obsession with Pakistan to more global issues.
For decades, these two countries, which have gone to war three times since independence from Britain in 1947, have been synonymous with each other. Diplomats often like to talk of India-Pakistan as "hyphenated".
But India is trying to move from that old beat, seduced more by its growing role in the global economy, its stellar growth and preoccupations with other security issues like China than dealing with what many Indians deride as a "failed state". Pakistan, meanwhile, often seems stuck in its obsession with India, mired in conspiracy theories, reflecting what critics say are decades-old fears that do little to bring regional stability.
It's an imbalance that may help redefine how these nations reach for peace as well as create new risks, making an aspiring and globalised India more vulnerable to regional tension, while making Pakistan frustrated it is losing out to its neighbour. "India sees itself as playing a global role and looks at the region as a stepping stone for its aspirations," said Siddharth Varadarajan, strategic affairs editor for India's The Hindu. "Pakistan sees its ability to be noticed globally as related to its tensions with India." Take China. India is focused on boosting trade with China as part of its growing economic clout in Asia, while ensuring security over a disputed border. The two sides fought a brief but bloody border war in 1962.
For Pakistan, China is simply source of diplomatic support and weapons to counter India. In Afghanistan, where both countries are seen in a proxy war for influence, Indian officials laud $1.2 billion aid as their ability to help bring regional stability through "soft power".
Pakistan sees that as an effort to push it out and wants Indian aid scaled down. The imbalance has already produced tensions with the United States. Washington wants Pakistan to stop worrying about India and focus more on Taliban militants on its Afghan border. President Barack Obama hinted at frustration over Pakistan earlier this year when he said that (Pakistan's) "obsession with India as the mortal threat to Pakistan has been misguided... their biggest threat right now comes internally". Those kind of comments irk Pakistan, where policy makers still see India trying to gain the kind of influence it has in its other South Asian neighbours, like Nepal.
"There are American efforts to persuade us to put troops on our Western border," said Riffat Hussein, chairman of the department of defence and strategic studies at Pakistan's Quaid-e-Azam University. "But no one here is fooled by that." The signing of a US civilian nuclear agreement with New Delhi is another source of tension. For New Delhi, the deal was about having access to the global nuclear power market. Islamabad looked on enviously as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was feted in Washington. Its request afterwards for a similar deal has fallen on deaf ears.
Pakistan worries India's new global role will make New Delhi more arrogant, with fewer incentives for peace when it feels too important to ignore.
Those fears may be exaggerated. Singh, born in Pakistan before Partition in 1947, says India cannot really take its global place without peace in South Asia, with a second attack like Mumbai in 2008, which New Delhi blames on Pakistan-based militants, capable of derailing investor confidence in India's globalised economy. "The most cost-effective thing would be to engage Pakistan to improve the atmosphere to a point where you can reduce the possibility of another Mumbai," said a senior Indian official on condition of anonymity. "We know if we have to get on with it (India's global push), we have to move beyond Pakistan." India is far more vulnerable to economic shock from another major border build-up than it was in 2002, the year of the last major border crisis that saw the countries nearly go to war again. It still has most of its army on the border and steep rises in defence spending are also linked to a perceived Pakistan threat.
So if India has one eye on global affairs, it always has the other on Pakistan, a fact not lost on Islamabad. While former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf offered concessions over the disputed Kashmir region in a failed attempt to reach a peace deal with India a few years ago, his attempts to refocus away from an Indian threat may have proved just a blip. Under new army chief Ashfaq Kayani, one of the most powerful men in Pakistan where the civilian government is weak, there has been a return to talk of the Indian threat, a sign critics say of Pakistan's growing domestic problems. Conspiracy theories about India, often linked to the United States, abound in Pakistan. With growing militancy, attacks and social problems, they won't go away soon.
"The more you lose on the economic front, on bad governance, the more you tend to externalise your problems and fears," said Imtiaz Gul, chairman of Centre for Research and Security Studies."Our conspiracy theories typify that tendency."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Flight tests of laser-guided bombs conducted

The user trials of laser-guided bombs developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) were conducted on Wednesday by Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft over the Pokhran range in Rajasthan.

The ADE is a unit of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The flight tests with the laser-guided bombs were conducted after extensive simulation, design validation and ground experiments.

A series of flight evaluations was done earlier and one of them took place in January.

A DRDO press release said the flight tests had demonstrated the accuracy, reliability and performance of these precision air-launched bombs.

A number of high technology components were developed by the Indian industries for this advanced weapon package, which had reached the maturity level, a DRDO official said.

Friday, June 4, 2010

India working on UAV anti-collision system

Indian aerospace scientists have developed an in-flight collision avert system that prevents unmanned aerial vehicles from crashing into enemy aircraft or other objects.

The model predictive static programming algorithm protection system, developed at the Indian Institute of Science, uses a series of installed collision guidance algorithms as instructions that allow the UAVs to detect objects, especially if they are flying low.

This includes tall buildings, towers and other aircraft, including commercial passenger planes.

The MPSP Algorithm can also be used in medium- and long-range missiles to ensure they don't crash into objects such as anti-missile missiles as they approach their own target. MPSP can redirect the missiles back on course to their target without loss of accuracy.

The developer, Radhakant Padhi, 37, said he has been working on algorithms for aerospace for more than a decade and perfected the algorithm technology during his project related to advanced missile technology at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

In 2005, Padhi developed an advanced version of the algorithm, called the MPSP algorithm, while working on one of India's missile guidance systems.

Padhi also said he received $80,000 of funding from Air Force Research Lab in the United States to further develop the MPSP Algorithm.

AFRL, operated by the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command, controls the Air Force science and technology research budget. The laboratory was formed in 1997 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. It was a consolidation of the four Air Force laboratory facilities of Wright, Phillips, Rome, and Armstrong as well as the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

It has worked with NASA, Department of Energy National Laboratories, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and other research organizations within the U.S. Department of Defense. Projects include the X-37, X-40, X-53, HTV-3X, YAL-1A, Advanced Tactical Laser and the Tactical Satellite Program.

AFRL, as with similar technology research establishments in the United States, is facing a staffing problem as 40 percent of its workers are set to retire over the next two decades. The country also isn't producing enough scientists to keep up with job vacancies.

One reason for the personnel shortage is a large percentage of science and engineering graduates in the United States are foreign citizens who aren't eligible for work because of security clearances needed for many of the jobs. Government statistics show that 60 percent of all doctoral candidates in the sciences are foreign-born, a report in The Boston Globe newspaper said last year.

"If the requirement is you have to be a U.S. citizen, then you have a large pool that simply isn't eligible," said Mark Regets, a senior analyst at the National Science Foundation who tracks science and engineering graduates and workforce.

Air Force Materiel Command is looking to fill more than 5,000 positions by October 2011, many of them in chemistry, physics, and electrical, aeronautical and environmental engineering. Jobs include researching cleaner fuels, laser-guided weapons, UAVs and cyberprotection.

India to develop missiles with France

After Russia and Israel, India is now all geared up to finalise a missile co-development project with France to manufacture a new range of Short Range Surface to Air Missiles (SRSAM) for the armed forces.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and the French missile manufacturer Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia (MBDA) will jointly work on this project, according to a news report in the Indian Express.
The defence deal is likely to be signed in the coming months.
Jean-David Levitte, Diplomatic Adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, had last year said that the new system may be the Maitri, and may incorporate technology from India's Trishul SAM and MBDA's MICA.
The project according to the report was initiated in 2007 and has taken more than three years to finalise.
The next-generation low-level, quick-reaction missile which will be inducted by the Army, Navy and Air Force, could also be made available for export.

India To Induct Agni 5 Missile By 2011

India will induct its 5,000 km range nuclear-capable Agni 5 missile by 2011 to allow it to join the group of nations possessing Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said Tuesday.
"Work is progressing satisfactorily in the development of Agni 5, which is expected to become a reality next year. With this, DRDO would have given India a comprehensive indigenous strategic capability," Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat as saying.
The Agni 5 will be the first canisterised, road-mobile missile in India's arsenal. It will be able to carry multiple warheads and will have counter-measures against anti-ballistic missile systems.
The Agni 5 is a three stage solid fueled missile with composite motor casing in the third stage. Two stages of this missile will be made of composite material.
The missile will utilize a canister and will be launched from it. Sixty percent of the missile will be similar to the Agni III missile. Advanced technologies like ring laser gyroscope and accelerometer will be used in the new missile.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

First flight of Tejas aircraft LSP-4

First flight of Tejas aircraft LSP-4

Tejas aircraft LSP-4 launched itsfirst flight today at a supersonic speed of 1.1 mach that left behind a significant milestone in the aircraft industry. The aircraft of this limited series departed at 1110 hours from HAL’s airport at Bangalore. It landed after a supersonic fly in the air for 40 minutes.

The IAF will finally take control of this aircraft that will be delivered to them in December this year.

The director of aeronautical development agency, P Subramanya said that this launch was a major bench mark for the LSP after the maiden flight flew with supersonic speed.

In order to prove the capabilities of the combat aircraft, DRDO intends to build eight more LSPs under the LCA program.

"The aircraft took off at 1110 hours and landed 40 minutes later. The Test Pilot, Group Captain Suneet Krishna, flew the aircraft to an attitude of 11 kms and went supersonic, touching 1.1 Mach speed," the defense ministry officials said.

Subramanya added that the next step would be to trial the aircraft out in hot weather conditions so the aircraft will now be flown to central India.

The scientists that were involved in the development of the flight included the seniors from ADA, the aeronautical development establishment and also the national aerospace laboratory.

This program was being worked upon from the 80’s by the DRDO which now plans on getting the required IOC (initial operational clearance) for Tejas. DRDO also aims at getting this clearance by the year 2011, and apply for the final operational clearance that it intends to receive by 2012. the final induction of the aircraft into the IAF is worked upon aiming at making the aircraft ready as early as 2012.

‘Indian rockets to soon use atmospheric oxygen as fuel’

A Rohini sounding on its way to space. Developments in aerospace technology will enable rockets to use atmospheric oxygen as fuel. File photo

A Rohini sounding on its way to space. Developments in aerospace technology will enable rockets to use atmospheric oxygen as fuel.

In an attempt to make its rockets lighter and carry heavier satellites, the Indian space agency is planning to flight test by the end of this year its own air-breathing engine that will use atmospheric oxygen as fuel.

Air-breathing engines use atmospheric oxygen and burn it with the stored on-board fuel to generate the onward thrust.

Conventional rockets carry both oxygen and chemical fuel on board.

“We will be doing a series of ground tests of the air breathing engine soon. We are planning an actual launch of a sounding rocket - ATV D02 - powered by such an engine by the end of this year,” an official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS on condition of anonymity.

The rocket will fly from Sriharikota, India's rocket port located around 80 km from here.

In March, ISRO flew an advanced technology vehicle D01 (ATV-D01) weighing three tonnes from Sriharikota.

ATV-D01, the heaviest sounding rocket developed by ISRO, carried a passive scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) engine combustor module as a test bed for demonstration of air breathing propulsion technology.

A scramjet consists of a tube through which inlet air is compressed by the high speed of the vehicle, a chamber where fuel is combusted, and a nozzle through which the exhaust jet leaves at higher speed than the inlet air.

Jet engines use a compressor to squeeze air into the engine, then spray fuel into the compressed air and ignite it to produce thrust by funnelling it through the back.

The advantage of air breathing engine is that it makes the rocket lighter - as oxygen is not carried - enabling it to carry heavier satellites.

Further, it reduces the cost of launch and will help make ISRO a very cost competitive player in the global satellite launch industry.

However, as air breathing engine systems can operate only during the atmospheric phase of flight, they will have to be adapted along with the conventional chemical rockets.