PT DAHANA (Persero) in collaboration with the Center for Integrated Research and Innovation (CIRNOV) of Ahmad Dahlan University, conducted a test of the Merapi Missile in the Weapon Range Area (AWR) of the Indonesian Air Force, in Lumajang, East Java, 27 – 28 December 2021.
This year, the Merapi missile test was given the term “Final Concert 2021”, which served to evaluate the performance of each missile subsystem in terms of mastery of missile technology manufacturing, missile capability improvement, and preparation of research production results for industry. As for the Quality Assurance (QA), during the manufacture process, the Merapi Missile is produced very strictly evaluation included the performance of booster rocket, aerodynamic structure of fin-tail, front fin (canard), seeker that uses infrared technology, and the launcher tubes, and so on.
According to DAHANA’s Director of Technology and Development, Suhendra Yusuf RPN, DAHANA’s makes propellant materials for the rocket boosters on the 70 mm caliber missile to ensure that the Merapi Missile is capable of traveling at a speed of 650 kilometers per hour or even exceeding the speed of sound.
“The missile has the ability to knock down aircraft, both fighter planes, military helicopters, and other air targets such as drones,” said Mr Yusuf.
With a fairly light missile weight of about 10 kg, the Merapi Missile can be easily carried everywhere by the army. In terms of application, the missile is inserted into a launcher tube which requires a collapsible canard and fin-tail, so that once the missile is fired from the launcher, all of the fins will be open to perform their aerodynamic function towards the target.
This missile made by the nation’s experts is also equipped with a fire and forget system. Once the missile is released, it will lock the target automatically, making it easier for the missile launchers to carry out the next maneuver after launching the missile.
According to the CIRNOV team leader, Prof. Hariyadi, the results of the firing tests suggested a high consistency regarding the performance of the missile booster rocket in addition to the direct range to the target which can reach 3,000 m. This is important because it will serve as one of the basic references for the complete synchronization of other subsystems of the missile. The canard and fin-tail can open properly after leaving the launch tube to approach the target area marked by a flare or infrared light source that is carried by the drone.
Furthermore, the performance of other subsystems related to the target position, pitching, yawing, and rolling of the missile including the target position by the seeker, can be monitored through a telemetry device mounted on the missile during firing, allowing the data to be obtained directly (real time) and continuously for evaluation. All missile components are able to withstand a shock (G-shock) up to 20 G occurring at the time the missile exits the launcher.
Mr Yusuf also hoped that by making missiles independently, Indonesia will be able to deal with embargo threat. Apart from meeting the needs of the National Main Defense System, the massive production of Merapi missiles has the potential to increase the country’s finances by offering the products in the world’s weapons market.