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Author: Subject: Guess the Propellant
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[*] posted on 12-2-2018 at 13:50
Guess the Propellant

It looks like a copper thermite ignitor... with a overfueled hydrocarbon??
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[*] posted on 12-2-2018 at 14:20

Looks to be a solid propellant mixture, very dirty engines, and are preferred for anti-ballistic missiles due to their reliability, simplicity, and ease of operation. Since it’s a replacement to the 53T6, I wouldn’t think it would be a liquid or gas engine because it won’t be used for direct interception (thus not as agile as a kinetic force weapon), instead exploding near the BM to destroy or disable it. Weaponry/propulsion isn’t my strongest topic but I’d hazard a guess and say a mix of aluminium powder, nitrated organic (nitroglycerin, nitrocellulose, maybe both?), and a strong oxidiser like ammonium perchlorate.

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[*] posted on 12-2-2018 at 15:31

The launch and smoke looks very similar to its predecessor Gazelle so I don't think they've changed the motor design much. (Here is a beautiful video of the old one by the way, note the shock wave as the first stage disintegrates from aerodynamic forces.)

It is a solid rocket, there are simply no liquid fueled rocket motors that can accelerate a rocket at 100-200g. The similar anti-ballistic missile Sprint used double base composite propellant so ammonium perchlorate, nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, aluminium and zirconium if wikipedia can be trusted.
My guess is that the brown smoke from the Russian missile comes from large fractions of metal oxide catalysts (it does look similar to copper thermite!). This would sacrifice specific impulse for burn speed but since the thrust must be around 10 meganewtons (more than all three space shuttle engines combined) this is probably the only way.
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[*] posted on 12-2-2018 at 23:32

Does look like Copper (or Manganese?) oxide(s) in the exhaust.

Or Bismuth trioxide? Gives a bit of a brown color to smoke from microstars-

Screenshot_20180213-013232.png - 2.1MB
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[*] posted on 14-2-2018 at 21:28

That exhaust color is interesting, brown smoke ? at first i thought it was from the dirt of the ground.
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[*] posted on 21-2-2018 at 08:43

I thought they play with the speed of the video.
it is super fast !
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