Giant leap in indigenous defence technologies: DRDO successfully tests Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle

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Updated: Sep 07, 2020 7:55 PM

DRDO plans for longer duration flights, and this will lead to the development of re-usable nuclear/conventional weapons delivery platforms.

This will serve as the building block for NextGen Hypersonic vehicles.This will serve as the building block for NextGen Hypersonic vehicles.

In a giant leap for indigenous defence technologies and a significant milestone towards a `Sashaktbharat and `Atmanirbharbharat’ India has for the second time successfully flight-tested Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV). The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with this successful test has on Monday, Sept 7, 2020, demonstrated capabilities for highly complex technology. This will serve as the building block for NextGen Hypersonic vehicles in partnership with the private industry.

As has been reported by Financial Express Online last year in June, “This technology is critical as it will play a very important part in the development of developing the hypersonic cruise missile system that DRDO has been working on.”

Besides the defence minister Rajnath Singh tweeting about the successful mission, chairman DRDO congratulated all the Scientists, Researchers and other personnel-related with HSTDV mission for their resolute and unwavering efforts towards strengthening the country’s defence capabilities.

Terming it as a major technological breakthrough in the country, DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy said, “This has put India in a select group of countries that have demonstrated this technology.”

India has now joined countries like the US, China, Russia, Hypersonic Missile Club with today’s successful test.

According to an official statement released by DRDO, on Monday at 11.03 am the HSTDV took off from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam launch complex at Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast. “A proven solid rocket motor was used to launch it. This took it to an altitude of 30 km, and at this is where the where aerodynamic heat shields were separated at hypersonic speed.”

Multiple tracking radars, electro-optical systems and telemetry stations were monitoring the parameters of the launch and cruise vehicles, as well as the scramjet engine. Also, a ship was also deployed in the Bay of Bengal to monitor the performance during the cruise phase of the hypersonic vehicle.

More about HSTDV

It has been developed by DRDO.

The cruise vehicle is expected to be mounted on a solid rocket motor, which will take it to the altitude that is required.

Once the required altitude has been reached, and the Mach too, this cruise vehicle is expected to be ejected out of the launch vehicle.

This is a dual-use technology project, and has civilian applications.

According to DRDO, it is used for propelling the cruise vehicle at Mach 6, mid-air; The Scramjet engine will be auto-ignited.

It can be used for not only launching long-range cruise missiles, but also for the launch of small satellites at a lower cost.

According to sources the Russian have also played a very important role in this as it has done a lot of work in the hypersonic propulsion. DRDO has developed this with help from the UK and Israel.

Why is it important?

These hypersonic engines have been developed as they are going to propel launch vehicles and it will be at a velocity that is not achievable from turbine powered jet engines.

The tests carried out have used hydrocarbon fuel. This has been done for the performance, and aerodynamics.

The flight duration of HSTDV is expected to be around 20 seconds and at an altitude of 31 km.

These platforms which will be guarded by the anti-ballistic air defence systems are going to perform precision strikes.

DRDO plans for longer duration flights, and this will lead to the development of re-usable nuclear/conventional weapons delivery platforms.

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