On Monday, India has successfully tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle, which is making it the fourth country in the world after the US, China, and Russia to derive and test the technology that would pave the way for missiles at six times the speed of sound.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation stated that it demonstrated capabilities for highly complex technology to monitor NextGen Hypersonic vehicles’ building block in partnership with the industry.
Sources of defense and security establishment said the test was done from the APJ Abdul Kalam testing range in Odisha’s Balasore.
They believed that India would be making its first hypersonic missile in the next five years with this successful test.
The launching of the missile took place at 11.03 am using the Agni missile booster.
The DRDO stated that the cruise vehicle was launched using a proven reliable rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 km. The aerodynamic heat shields are separated by hypersonic Mach number.
The cruise vehicle was successfully separated from the launch vehicle, and the air intake opened as it was planned.
Defence sources said the hypersonic combustion sustained, and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound, which is nearly 2 km, for more than 20 seconds.
Various critical events, like fuel injection and auto-ignition of the scramjet, demonstrated technological maturity, performed in a textbook manner.
The launch and cruise vehicle parameters, including the scramjet engine, monitored by multiple tracking radars, electro-optical systems, and telemetry stations.
Hypersonic missiles can travel faster than Mach 5, which is five times the speed of sound, or we can say 3,800 miles per hour, much quicker than ballistic and cruise missiles. They didn’t follow the predictable arc as they travel. They can deliver nuclear payloads within minutes.
DRDO last June also tested the futuristic missile test. However, then, the trial did not meet all the parameters.
Since at that time, the Agni-I ballistic carrier vehicle, which carries the HSTDV, received its altitude boost, didn’t complete the mission.
Apart from using its vehicle for hypersonic long-range cruise missiles, HSTDV is a dual-use technology that would have multiple civilian applications, including the launching of small satellites at low cost.