Radome, one of the most critical components for high speed, target-seeking missiles, has been developed indigenously by Indian scientists, paving the way for saving hundreds of crores of rupees in foreign exchange for future systems.
Saving foreign exchange
India has been importing these structures, each costing Rs.30-Rs.40 lakh for its missile requirements. This technological achievement would not only help in saving crucial foreign exchange but also give a fillip to the home-grown Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system, said a scientist involved in the project.
A radome is positioned at the nose cone of the missile. It is meant to protect and insulate the electronics of the projectile from scorching temperatures and atmospheric disturbances outside as it zooms towards the target at supersonic speeds with the help of a seeker. To enable the seeker to receive signals and track the target, the radome has to be transparent.
Scientists at Research Centre Imarat, a key missile complex laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), have conceived and developed a high-precision Radome Calibration system covering different mechanical and electromagnetic aspects required for the Air Defence interceptor and other missiles.
The missile scientist said the first ceramic radome which can withstand high speeds and temperatures up to 800 deg c has been developed for the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Astra missile. V
arious qualification tests were carried out and it was found to be on par with the imported systems. It was found to withstand high temperatures, vibration shocks and atmospheric disturbances, while supporting the required aerodynamic profile.
Besides, Astra, the indigenously-developed radomes would mainly cater to interceptor missiles. They would also be used in BrahMos, MRSAMs (Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles) and Anti-Radiation Missiles (ARMs).
RCI also started work on developing ‘reaction-bonded silicon nitride’ radome which can withstand temperatures of above 1,000 deg c.
Scientists at Research Centre Imarat conceive and develop a high-precision Radome Calibration system required for the Air Defence interceptor and other missiles