What is Scramjet Engine ?

What is Scramjet Engine ?


Science behind air-breathing scramjet engine

      WHY IN NEWS:

Launch of HSTDV.

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Space
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Space : Science and Technology


For PRELIMS go through priniciple carefully and note down the technologies used in these types of engines.

For MAINS what are the significances if hypersonic ramjet engines ? Can you name a few ?


Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) performed a major technological feat on September 7 when it flew a cruise vehicle at a hypersonic speed of Mach six for 20 seconds.


  • This indigenous engine is the centrepiece of the cruise vehicle flown by DRDO

The cruise vehicle was flown at a hypersonic speed of Mach six for 20 seconds.

  • The DRDO called the cruise vehicle Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV).
  • The centrepiece of the HSTDV was the indigenously developed air-breathing scramjet engine, which formed the HSTDV’s propulsion system.
  • If the mission’s aim was to prove this scramjet engine in flight, it was achieved.


  • The scramjet engine and its ignition

Sustaining the ignition, ethylene fuel.

  • Generation of maximum energy from the engine
  • Development of materials to take care of the high temperatures that occurred due to air friction on the leading edges of the cruiser’s wings,
  • Tail surface and nose tip, and controlling the HSTDV with minimum drag and maximum thrust.


  • Ramjet
  • Scramjet 
  • Dual Mode Ramjet (DMRJ)

These are the three concepts of air-breathing engines which are being developed by various space agencies.


  • A ramjet is a form of air-breathing jet engine that uses the vehicle’s forward motion to compress incoming air for combustion without a rotating compressor.

Fuel is injected in the combustion chamber where it mixes with the hot compressed air and ignites.

  • A ramjet-powered vehicle requires an assisted take-off like a rocket assist to accelerate it to a speed where it begins to produce thrust.
  • Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) and can operate up to speeds of Mach 6.
  • However, the ramjet efficiency starts to drop when the vehicle reaches hypersonic speeds.


  • A scramjet engine is an improvement over the ramjet engine .

These engines are efficiently operated at hypersonic speeds and allows supersonic combustion

  • Thus it is known as Supersonic Combustion Ramjet, or Scramjet.

What is Scramjet Engine ?


  • A dual mode ramjet (DMRJ) is a type of jet engine where a ramjet transforms into scramjet over Mach 4-8 range.
  • Which means it can efficiently operate both in subsonic and supersonic combustor modes.

What is Scramjet Engine ?

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • India is the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of a Scramjet Engine.

Mastering the air-breathing scramjet technology will lead to the development of hypersonic missiles.

  • Also , faster civilian air transportation and facilities for putting satellites into orbit at a low cost.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU | What is Scramjet Engine ?

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