Nagpur: The Solar Groups of Nagpur has emerged as the first indigenous supplier of boosters for the BrahMos missiles. The group’s company would also be delivering the first batch of strap-on boosters to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on July 14.

In missiles, the booster is a key component on which the very launch hinges. The boosters give the initial thrust to the missile to enable it to reach Mach speed, or the speed of sound. Without attaining Mach level, the missile remains ineffective, said an expert.

The missiles work on a ramjet engine. However, for the ramjet engine to become operational the missile has to achieve a certain Mach speed. This is done with the help of boosters, the expert said.

The BrahMos missiles are made by the Indo-Russian joint venture — BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) — which also has a unit in Nagpur. So far the boosters were being imported for the BrahMos missiles. However, lately the Nagpur company has been able to provide them. The supplies have already begun, leading to import substitution, said a source.

The boosters are a wholly indigenized product, says the company. The expertise lies in getting the right combination of materials used in the propellent.

This comes as a major achievement, especially in times of the Russo-Ukraine conflict, when availability of spares has been a concern in the defence manufacturing sector, said independent sources in the sector.

A joint team of Russian and BAPL experts had visited the facility and endorsed the production. BAPL was scouting among industry players to get supply of boosters to which Solar Group responded. The defence business of Solar Group is carried out by its wholly owned subsidiary Economic Explosives Limited (EEL). The parent company, Solar Industries Limited (SIL), is into manufacturing and supply of commercial explosives used in the mining industry.

In another development, EEL would be delivering the first batch of strap-on boosters to Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on July 14. As the name goes, these boosters are strapped to the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV). These are improved versions of strap-on boosters as compared to those already used by ISRO. The new components can enable PSLVs to carry a substantially enhanced payload, said sources.

Strap-on boosters are rocket like components that are attached to the satellite launch vehicles from outside. In the PSLVs, strap-on boosters provide the extra push to the launchers enabling it take a higher payload. Again, this will be the first ever private player to be supplying strap-on boosters to the national space agency.

The company is also working on other critical areas related to long range rocket systems, missiles and loitering munitions.

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