February 6, 2013

Hypersonic "BrahMos-2" - Name Misleading




DRDO's mockup (above) of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) which may be developed into a missile called the "BrahMos-2". BrahMos-2 would have a completely different shape and propulsion to the BrahMos (below).
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The heavy coat of paint on this BrahMos (1) may be a radar and/or IR-absorbent coating.
 
 
Update of February 2013
 
See this article from Defense Update of February 6, 2013 "Aero-India 2013: The Indian Air-Force Plans to Induct BrahMos by 2015" concerning deployment of BrahMos including air-launching it from India's Su-30MKI fighter-bombers  http://defense-update.com/20130206_the-indian-air-force-plans-to-induct-brahmos-by-2015.html .

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Douglas Barrie, Aviation Week, on August 28, 2008 made the following points:

"Indian defense executives took the opportunity of a recent weapons exhibition in Moscow to once again raise the issue of a “successor” to the Indo-Russian Brahmos rocket-ramjet powered cruise missile.

However, given the performance aspirations for the weapon - dubbed Brahmos-2 – the name would likely be the only commonality with the present Brahmos.


The Brahmos is a variant of the NPO Mashinostroenia 3M-55 Onyx [/Yakhont] (SS-NX-26) anti-ship missile. It has a cruise speed on the order of Mach 2.6. Sivathanu Pillai, the CEO at the Brahmos company, has repeatedly suggested the follow on – Brahmos-2 – will be a hypersonic weapon. Brahmos is a partnership between NPO Mashinostroenia and India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
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The 3M-55 is a capable weapon but neither the propulsion system nor the airframe design or materials are remotely suitable for a hypersonic weapon. Scramjet or hybrid ramjet propulsion would be required for an air-breathing weapon, with advanced materials technology, possibly including active cooling, needed to deal with the temperatures generated at such speeds.

Exactly how Brahmos-2 relates to the DRDO’s Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) program has also yet to become clear.


Pillai told the Russian news agency Interfax that he also wanted the Brahmos-2 to be “invisible”.

While this could present an issue in the infra-red spectrum, given airframe heating, NPO Mashinostroenia already has a track record in working on passive and active low observable technology in the radio frequency spectrum for high altitude cruise weapons.
Its 3M-25 Meteorit strategic cruise missile, which was never fielded, was associated with a plasma-generation system believed to be intended to reduce the radar cross-section of the missile by shielding the air intake and possibly the nose section. Bill Sweetman adds: Also, take a look at the BrahMos displayed in Moscow last week:
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Russia has a long-standing interest in hypersonic cruise missile technology, while India is also exploring technologies applicable to this area through the likes of the HSTDV. Brahmos-2, should it ever progress, could prove to be a very interesting weapon."
 

Additional Background

Aviation Week & Space Technology 11/05/2007, page 65 - reproduced
"The Defense Research and Development Laboratory’s Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) is intended to attain autonomous scramjet flight for 20 sec., using a solid rocket launch booster. The research will also inform India’s interest in reusable launch vehicles.

The eventual target is to reach Mach 6.5 at an altitude of 32.5 km. (20 mi.). Initial flight testing is aimed at validating the aerodynamics of the air vehicle, as well as its thermal properties and scramjet engine performance.

A mock-up of the HSTDV was shown at the Aero India exhibition in Bangalore in February (see photo 1), and S. Panneerselvam, the DRDL’s project director, says engineers aim to begin flight testing a full-scale air-breathing model powered by a 1,300-lb.-thrust scramjet engine as early as next year.

The HSTDV’s shape, on which future cruise missile technology could be based, is evident in this mock-up shown at Aero India in February [2007]."

 

Aviation Week & Space Technology
11/05/2007, page 65

The Defense Research and Development Laboratory’s Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) is intended to attain autonomous scramjet flight for 20 sec., using a solid rocket launch booster. The research will also inform India’s interest in reusable launch vehicles. The eventual target is to reach Mach 6.5 at an altitude of 32.5 km. (20 mi.).

Initial flight testing is aimed at validating the aerodynamics of the air vehicle, as well as its thermal properties and scramjet engine performance. A mock-up of the HSTDV was shown at the Aero India exhibition in Bangalore in February (see photo), and S. Panneerselvam, the DRDL’s project director, says engineers aim to begin flight testing a full-scale air-breathing model powered by a 1,300-lb.-thrust scramjet engine as early as next year.

The HSTDV’s shape, on which future cruise missile technology could be based, is evident in this mock-up shown at Aero India in February.