Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Indian Mil Lab: We've Created The World's Most Powerful Conventional Explosive


Indian Govt Dispatch: Move over RDX! That's passé for the needs of the Indian Armed Forces. The DRDO is developing a powerful explosive, - the CL-20, that can substantially reduce the weight and size of the warhead while packing much more punch. In fact, the RDX is not the standard explosive in use with the Indian Armed Forces; the warheads are mostly packed with HMX, FOX-7 or amorphous Boron.

Scientists at the Pune-based High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) have already synthesized adequate quantity of CL-20 in the laboratory. "It is the most powerful non-nuclear explosive yet known to man," says Dr. AK Sikder, Joint Director, HEMRL, who heads the High Energy Materials Division. The compound, 'Indian CL-20' or ICL-20, was indigenously synthesized in the HEMRL laboratory using inverse technology, he added. "The HEMRL has taken India to an elite club of countries with advanced capabilities in the field of Energetic Materials," said Shri Manish Bhardwaj, a senior Scientist with the HEMRL. In fact, the CL-20 is such a fascination for the HEMRL that a larger-than-life size model of the compound occupies the pride of place as one enters the portals of the main building of the DRDO's premier lab in Pune.

CL-20, so named after the China Lake facility of the Naval Air Weapons Station in California, US, was first synthesized by Dr. Arnold Nielson in 1987. CL-20, or Octa-Nitro-Cubane, is a Nitramine class of explosive 15 times as powerful as HMX, His/Her Majesty Explosive or High Melting Explosive or Octogen. The HMX itself is more than four times as potent as the Research Developed Explosive or Royal Demolition Explosive or Cyclonite or Hexogen, commonly known as RDX.

"CL-20 offers the only option within the next 10-15 years to meet the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces for Futuristic Weapons," said Dr. Sikder. "CL-20 -based Shaped Charges significantly improve the penetration over armours," he said, adding that it could be used in the bomb for the 120-mm main gun mounted on the MBT-Arjun. "But the costs of mass production of ICL-20 are still prohibitive," said Dr. Sikder. Compared to Rs.750 per kilogram it takes to produce RDX in the factory today, the HMX is worth about Rs.6,000 per kg while a kilogram of CL-20 costs a whopping Rs.70,000 per kg.

"We have a tie up with industry partner for intermediate commercial exploitation of ICL-20," said Dr. A. Subhananda Rao, Director, HEMRL. About 100 kgs of ICL-20 has been produced by HEMRL in collaboration with the Premier Explosives Limited (PEL). The CL-20, which looks like limestone or grainy talcum powder, is being manufactured by the PEL factory at Peddakanlukur village in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh. The Rs.60 crores Hyderabad-based company bagged the DRDO's Defence Technology Absorption Award, 2007 worth Rs.Ten Lakhs, presented by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on May 12, 2008, their most prestigious award, claimed company sources.

"The advantage with the CL-20 is its Reduced Sensitivity," said Dr. Sikder, enabling easy handling and transportation of the lethal weaponry. In fact, the HEMRL is concentrating on the Reduced Shock Sensitivity (RSS) explosives, such as RSS-RDX, which costs about Rs.1,500-2,000 per kg, and RSS-HMX. "There is a whole array of low sensitivity material or Insensitive Munitions we are working on," said Dr. Rao. "The world around there is a lot of R&D being pumped into what are called the Green Explosives, as also the advanced Insensitive Munitions (IM) and RSS explosives," added Dr. Sikder, which reduces the chances of mishap and loss to M4, - Men, Money, Materials and Machines.

26 comments :

Anonymous said...

Good development . Hope it revolutionize our defense ordinance manufacturing capability.

Anonymous said...

The Air Launched Brahmos missile that India will put on Su 30 MUST have this New explosive in its warhead

This explosive will take out the Evil Pak Army GHQ and ISI headquarters for us

Anonymous said...

That's it India keep it up,congrats to both DRDO and HEMRL cost should be no problem.

Anonymous said...

That's it India congrats DRDO and HEMRL cost should be no cause of concern you have done it things are bound to improve

satbir said...

Drop it from tajes and shut the mouth of JF-17 team!!!

Anurag said...

Well the price is nullifying the high power of CL-20. May be the full rate production will bring down the price in near future.

pranav said...

What a waste of public money. These bombs are very very expensive though i understand they are compact and lightweight and therefore will be of high stretegic importance.

Now a cheap alternative to this has been used by US army and Isareli forces for decades. Thats called the "depleted uranium" bombs which contains minute traces of uranium, are cheap & power packed.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=3748

Apart from these many shells fired by the M1A1 TANKS in gulf war contains "depleted uranium".

Anonymous said...

"Inverse Technology"

Anonymous said...

Give it to Taliban-they will fight our war with enemy.

Anonymous said...

@Pranav in this era of Wikipedia you could have checked what "depleted uranium" means before forwarding that link.
Depleted Uranium is not an explosive like RDX. It is superdense material which uses energy from impact to penetrate and obliterate the target. It's very similar to what happens when a large meteor impacts with Earth's surface (same effect as that of nuke bomb aka mass converting to energy).

Kumar said...

What is that picture above from? Is india developing SDB equivalent of its own using this new explosive?

Kunal said...

cost/kg of HMX = Rs. 6,000
Lethality/power/potency of CL-20 over HMX = 15x
therefore, matching break-even price/cost = Rs. 90,000
but, at Rs. 70,000; it is 22.23% cheaper, which means more bang for lesser bucks.
So, where is the problem???

This item should be used to miniaturize weapons systems especially on fighter-bombers and submarines where space/vol is at a premium.

lspk said...

Dudes ICL-20 will help India in shrinking the warheads which will help in India's AURA UCAV programme!!!!!!!

Rajesh said...

Miniaturization/Range/Explosive Power will increase. Mass production and more orders may tend to bring down the prices and taxpayers hard earned money will be saved.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't it be called "reverse engineering" rather than "inverse technology"?

Anonymous said...

You know, DRDO could have saved a lot of money in "independently" synthesizing CL-20 by simply going over to wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane

It is only 20% more energetic compared to conventional explosives not 15X

LOL, Also are there any "elite clubs" that India hasn't joined yet?

Anonymous said...

hi shiv there is some news appeared
in news channel about nirbhay missile.please post the detalis







bhagat choudary

Anonymous said...

@ anon with the wiki links

ya right...
have you learnt chemistry...
its easy to say..mix these chemicals...u get the compound
what conditions so that you get that compound..
what conditions so that it doesnt blow up in the lab while being made

i didnt see none of that in wiki
but do go ahead..make it @ home...we could use the experimental data from the explosion!!!

Pagla Dashu said...

According to wiki, the explosive velocity of RDX is 8750 m/s, while that of HMX is 9100 m/s. The explosive velocity of CL-20, on the other hand, is 9380 m/s, a mere 3% more than HMX. According to Global Security, CL-20 is 20% more powerful than HMX i.e. 1.2 times HMX.

So unless I'm missing something, this '15 times' seems to be an exaggeration.

KVR said...

In the same way we created the most advanced "Light" combat aircraft, a state of the art military aircraft engine, an advanced light transport aircraft, a state of the art tank, a state of the art AFV, a state of the art - Yakkety Yak. When it comes to bombast, we are obviously No. 1 .

Anonymous said...

Stated cost of Brahmos is $2.73 Million with a warhead of 300 kg by using ICL-20 we are getting 15 times bigger bang which would have costed approx $40.99 Million on the other hand one can reduce the warhead weight and increase the range it is a win win situation.MCTR or no MCTR

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope this news is true, but every source on the web says CL-20 is 15% - 20% more powerful than HMX - not 15x times more powerful.

Maybe the guys who typed out the despatch gut it wrong. Shiv, please can you check through your sources?

Sai said...

Correction:
Please correct the title of the post. It should read DRDO recreates/reverse engineers...,

sincerely
Sai

Anonymous said...

Всем привет, Да круто,

Anonymous said...

ООО, Какие слова...

Anonymous said...

I think the headline should say "
Indian Mil Lab: We've also created the world's most powerful conventional explosive"