India has successfully conducted the maiden flight test of its indigenously developed fired Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) off Odisha Coast. This test is critical as it forms an important part of India’s ambitious programme for development of a hypersonic cruise missile system.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) carried out the trials from Dr Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal in the morning.
According to sources, the new technology was tested and the data generated by radars showed that the trial was a success.
What is HSTDV?
It is developed by DRDO.
This cruise vehicle will be mounted on a solid rocket motor to take it to the required altitude. After the required altitude is reached and the Mach is achieved, the cruise vehicle will be ejected out of the launch vehicle.
Mid-air the Scramjet engine will be auto-ignited, and will propel the cruise vehicle at Mach 6.
According to DRDO, this is a dual-use technology Project, with civilian applications.
While it can be used to launch small satellites at a much lower cost, it will be used for launching long-range cruise missiles.
Developed by DRDO, with help from Israel and the UK, sources claim that Russia which has done major research in hypersonic propulsion has also played a critical role in this project.
The need to develop these hypersonic engines is important as it will propel launch vehicles at a velocity that cannot be achieved from traditional turbine-powered jet engines.
The Scramjet integrated vehicle using hydrocarbon fuel has been tested for its performance, and aerodynamics.
HSTDV is expected to have a flight duration of 20 seconds at an altitude of 31 km.
There are plans to conduct a longer duration flight by the DRDO which is expected to which could ultimately lead to the development of re-usable nuclear/conventional weapons delivery platforms.
Guarded by Anti-ballistic air defence systems, these platforms are likely to perform precision strikes.
According to the Pentagon hypersonic flight is the new stealth as it can evade and outrun the enemy fire.