DRDO developing solid propellant for BrahMos after Russia refuses support

HEMHRL ( High Energy Materials Research Laboratory), a DRDO lab based in Pune is developing a special solid propellant to be used as fuel by BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, the Indian Express reported on Friday. The solid propellant booster is in its final stages of development and a test next month will determine how soon it can be used by the forces.

The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet on Wednesday. It is the only missile in the world that is fit to be launched from the air, land and sea.

The supersonic missile is being held as an important milestone in India-Russia military partnership since DRDO and NPOM (a Russian military technology firm) have jointly developed the munition. 

However, Russia has been reluctant to share the technology for solid propellants with India, the Times of India reported. Consequently, the DDRO delegated the task of developing an indigenous booster fuel to HEMHRL to avoid scaling-up of costs.

The HEMHRL's other achievements include the development of gun propellants, inhibition technology for propellants, and the development of fuel-air explosives.

A solid propellant is a fuel used in air-borne machines (like aircrafts, missiles). The propellant is ignited and spews out from the side opposite to the direction that the missile/aircraft is travelling, thus giving it the thrust to move forward.