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EXCLUSIVE: Crucial Engine For India’s Cruise Missiles Revs Up

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Industry' started by Marqueur, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    EXCLUSIVE: Crucial Engine For India’s Cruise Missiles Revs Up
    Shiv AroorMar 10 2017 1 17 pm
    [​IMG]
    India’s Nirbhay subsonic long-range cruise missile during a test-firing.

    Three months ago, India’s Nirbhay cruise missile was destroyed mid-flight after an electro-mechanical failure made it roll dangerously with half-opened wings. The roll glitched out the missile’s intertial navigation system, sending it careening out of its notified flight envelope and forcing the test team on ground to push the kill switch. As scientists work to clear up problems bedeviling the crucial long-range weapon effort, a related development is understood to be showing fresh promise, and could soon be a direct part of the Nirbhay: the Indian-built Manik mini turbofan engine, intended to power production series Nirbhay cruise missiles.

    Almost exactly a year ago, DRDO chief S. Christopher witnessed a test run demonstration of the Manik turbofan at the DRDO’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) in Bengaluru. In March 2015, Defence Secretary G. Mohan Kumar was shown the engine switched on. It was in November 2014 that the mini turbofan engine was christened Manik.

    Livefist has learnt that the Nirbhay cruise missile, currently powered by an NPO Saturn 36MT turbofan, will next be tested in the May-June period using a turbojet engine. While the GTRE has been mandated with proving the Manik turbofan by the time the Nirbhay’s other flight systems are proven, top sources confirm a Nirbhay test powered by a Manik engine could take place by the end of next year. The Manik turbofan has been under rigirous ground and high power tests for over two years now, and scientists are understood to be satisfied with progress. Current activity includes work spread between GTRE and the National Aerospace Laboratory. At the latter’s Propulsion Division, Manik components including its fan, centrifugal compressor, high pressure and low pressure turbines and alternator are under test.

    At 425 kgF (kilogram-force) of thrust, scientists are working to reduce the Manik turbofan’s current 110 kilogram total weight. The engine makes major use of the Mishra Dhatu Nigam-developed MDN 321 special steel and special indigenous alloys. The Manik engine has only ever been displayed as a rapid-prototyping model at shows:

    View image on Twitter
    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]Livefist @livefist

    The engine that will power Nirbhay cruise missile & other stuff in future: India's Manak mini turbofan.

    9:19 AM - 19 Feb 2015




    Significantly, the GTRE isn’t fully equipped to test the Manik and is working fast to add test capabilities and infrastructure. This was borne out yesterday in the defence standing committee’s report to Parliament, where the MoD made the following admission:

    The existing Fan & Compressor Test Facility at Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) has inadequate capacity and has become obsolete. To carry out testing of Fan & Compressor for existing and future generation gas turbine engine programmes of GTRE, it is essential to have a dedicated Fan & Compressor test facility at GTRE. GTRE is working out the budgetary cost of this facility to be established ‘on turnkey basis’ with an objective to initiate EPC approval by end of Oct 2016.”

    The report further details aggressive plans to beef up a non-existent engine development and validation ecosystem in South India:

    The design improvement and validation of aero engine components and modules through testing is a continuous activity to enhance and demonstrate engine performance and reliability. At present, only limited aerodynamic and structural testing can be conducted within the country. Hence, the required component testing facilities at an estimated cost of Rs.1330 crore are planned to be established by DRDO at Rajanakunte, Bengaluru for development of Ghatak engine and all future generation aero engines.”

    In addition, the DRDO is reported to be planning a twin test cell at GTRE to carry out ‘performance testing of gas turbine engines upto 130 kN thrust class’, which includes all versions of the Kaveri engine, including the dry version being developed for the Ghatak stealth UCAV. The bolstering of gas turbine development and testing infrastructure is belated but very welcome: it amplifies a recognition that India is willing to invest in one of the toughest areas of military science, one that has tormented the most advanced nations, and is currently harrowing China too.

    But the Nirbhay isn’t the end ga[​IMG]me, as it were. Livefist learns the Manik turbofan will also power the DRDO’s secretive Long Range Cruise Missile (LRCM), a weapon project revealed first here on Livefist in 2010. Top DRDO sources reveal the LRCM, currently still in a configuration phase, will involve a three-stage power system: a booster to put the missile in the air, the Manik turbofan to power the LRCM through its 1,000-km cruise phase and, finally, a ramjet engine that will push the LRCM into supersonic endgame towards its target. The full-fledged project is being spearheaded by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL).

    https://www.livefistdefence.com/201...ngine-for-indias-cruise-missiles-revs-up.html
     
  2. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    LRCM is a long shot. We should have been developing a >300 km sub sonic cruise missile now. IN is over depended on Brahmos and we still import Russian/French/US cruise missiles of this class.
     
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  3. OnePunchMan

    OnePunchMan 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    yes totally agree on this we need more variety also newer version of brahmos should be expedited.
     
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  4. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    Personally, I don't see the appeal in LRCM anymore. The only worthwhile attribute of this system was it's unrestricted range of 600+ kilometers. But with India becoming a member of the MTCR and the BrahMos restrictions lifted (450km version and a new ER with ~600km set to appear next year), I don't see the point in sinking R&D money into reinventing the wheel in Ramjet-based cruise missiles. The time of the 3K22 Zircon/BrahMos-2K is fast approaching.

    Indigenous effort should be directly at perfecting all technologies involved in the subsonic, terrain-hugging dept. Ground, Air & Submarine-launched versions of Nirbhay (and also a smaller variant for carriage by MMRCAs) is where the money should go. Also R&D for a subsonic missile with a somewhat faceted, stealthy body like the SCALP-EG/Storm Shadow.

    The BrahMos JV program (50.5% stake held by GoI) provides for everything else.
     
  5. Ripcord322

    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    The Pralay seems to be (or be the successor to) the LRCM...
    Anyway.... Hopefully the Surface Launched Nirbhay is sent to Production by 2020...And Submarine...Ship...Air Launched versions too are developed by 2030...

    Let's aim for Tomahawk BLK IV capability by 2030.

    And Hopefully a Fully Desi Counterpart to the BrahMos is formulated (This looks unlikely....And I haven't heard chatter about such a missile)
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
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  6. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    Pralay is different project. It don't have air intake.
     
  7. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Major IDF NewBie

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    Please, the true range is >800 km bro.
     
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  8. Ripcord322

    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Woah...How did you deduce that brother....
    Some Online Source Said that the Missiles is to have a loitering/path switching/target switching capability...So it has to be a cruise missile...And if it's a cruise missile it has to have air intakes....


    PS : The tender document for the Jig for Pralay might not necessarily use the exact shape of the Missiles...(More over a general overall shape showing the Hook Points, Load Sections and basic shape for overall dimensions....
    Also...There could also be a retractable air intake.... Which engages when the boost phase is over and the cruise phase turbofan engine kicks in.....I might be wrong though.
     
  9. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    Tender gives you the basic shape. It may have small retractable intake but does the LRCM picture above looks like small or retractable ? No.
     
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  10. Ripcord322

    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Yeah...It is possible that the LRCM is completely different...
    But In my humble opinion brother...
    There are reports as to the LRCM being cancelled...
    I think the tech developed in the LRCM will go into the Pralay...!?
    Or perhaps the Pralay is something completely different...It's most likely not a ballistic missile (we already have a lot of them and they can't loiter...)


    If it's a cruise missile and the reports of the LRCM being cancelled are true...They it is highly likely that the LRCM morphed into the Pralay...

    My original statement should have been...

    "The Pralay seems to be (or be the successor) to the LRCM"


    Anyway....We can't be sure of anything though...
     
  11. Ripcord322

    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    We cannot say that for sure unless it has been tested to its limit for a handful of times...

    Anyway...I hope what you say is true...
     
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  12. PARIKRAMA

    PARIKRAMA Captain IDF NewBie

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    I am more keen to see a Kalibr class CM.. especially with a second or tertiary stage with dual pulse motor and supersonic acceleration to reach say mach 2-2.5+ in last 10-15% of its flight time...
     
  13. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog IDF NewBie

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    First confirm the existence of LRCM project. Is there anything on it other than some blogs and "Wishlist" slides? No.
    So, no point comparing parlay with it.
     

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