With out-dated weapons and equipment to fight, our armed forces are meant to protect our borders. How amazing right? Despite the fact that they don’t have the basic weapons required let alone having the futuristic ones, they have always done a fantastic job of protecting us. Be it 26/11, the numerous bomb blasts, the incursions by Pakistan and China, the wars with Pakistan, our politicians have always said the same line.
“We will do all it takes to get the best weapons for the armed forces” All this dies down until the next attack.
But thankfully there is something called the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in this country which continuously keeps researching on new and futuristic weapons as well as thinking the best for our army.
RDX hasn’t been a thing of the present with the armed forces for a long time. They have been using warheads packed with HMX (a Nitroamine explosive chemically related to RDX), FOX – 7 or amorphous boron.
But with the development of CL – 20, an explosive designed by scientists at the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune in collaboration with DRDO promises a revolution in weapon related technology in the country. It has propelled India into an elite club of countries who have technology in developing such materials.
So what is CL – 20 all about?
CL – 20 is named after the China Lake facility of the Naval Air Weapons Station in California probably because it was synthesised there first. CL – 20 is an octa–nitro–cubane explosive around 15 times more potent than HMX which itself is 4 times more potent than RDX! So can you even imagine the potency of CL–20?
It is the most powerful non – nuclear explosive synthesised by man till date. The scientists at the HERML designed it using special inverse technology.
What are the advantages of using CL – 20?
It will substantially reduce the weight and size of a warhead. And along with that, it would increase its potency for action much more compared to HMX or RDX. Its ability to increase the penetration would generate its importance for use in bombs for the 120mm main gun mounted on the main battle tank Arjun.
It also has reduced sensitivity and therefore allows for easier transportation, handling of the weapons.
While RDX costs Rs 750 / kg, HMX costs Rs 6000 / kg, CL – 20 costs a crazy Rs 70,000 / kg. The HERML has partnered with Premier Explosives Limited in AP for the production. The costs have to come down a lot more for this explosive to be used by the army.
The HERML in partnership with DRDO is continuously researching low sensitivity explosives as well as green explosives because this is very important if not for anyone but for the benefit of our ARMED FORCES WHO FIGHT DAY IN AND DAY OUT TO PROTECT US.