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Tipu's Rockets

Many believe that Tipu Sultan (1750-1799), the ruler of Mysore who terrified the British and hostile Indian kingdoms, is the first one in modern history to use rocket brigades and to significantly increase the range of rockets by making them out of iron tubes. In his military manual, Fathul Mujahidin, he prescribes 200 rocket men for each brigade of the Mysore Army. With an iron tube, packed with black powder, a rocket with a pound of powder could travel over 1000 yards. The original rockets of Tipu are still on display in Woolwich Museum Artillery in London, and exact replica can be seen at the museum in the BrahMos Aerospace headquarters in New Delhi.

The effect of Tipu's rocket artillery on the British during the Mysore wars led William Congreve to develop own rocket designs, which was called Congreve Rocket. In the Napoleonic Wars, these Congreve rockets were highly effective.

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