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India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has issued tenders for a critical project aimed at developing hypersonic cruise missiles. Project ET-LDHCM focuses on the creation of long-distance hypersonic cruise missiles and requires advancements in high-temperature material coatings.

Hypersonic missiles travel at speeds exceeding Mach 5, creating immense heat due to friction with air molecules. This necessitates the use of refractory alloys like Niobium, Molybdenum, and Tungsten in the construction of these missiles. However, these alloys oxidize rapidly at high temperatures, compromising their performance.

DRDO’s project seeks to develop multi-component oxidation-resistant coatings for these refractory alloys. These coatings will enable the alloys to withstand temperatures exceeding 1100°C in atmospheric conditions. An additional requirement is the development of thermal barrier overlay coatings to further enhance the materials’ endurance during extended hypersonic flight.

The project outlines specific deliverables. DRDO requires the successful development, deposition, and supply of oxidation-resistant coatings for Niobium, Molybdenum, and Tungsten alloy plates. Additionally, the project seeks the creation of processes and brazing alloys specifically for Niobium-based materials.

The successful completion of Project ET-LDHCM will be a significant milestone in India’s hypersonic missile development program. These advanced materials are crucial for ensuring the operational effectiveness of hypersonic cruise missiles at extreme temperatures and extended durations.

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