India's Hypersonic Missile Vehicle Test Successful - Joins US, Russia, China in elite club
India on 7th September 2020, joined the ranks of the hypersonic missile club by firing an indigenously-developed hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSTDV). This indigenous technology will pave the way towards development of missiles travelling at six times the speed of sound. This activity also makes India the fourth country to successfully test a demonstrator vehicle, joining the ranks of US, Russia, and China.
Based on hypersonic propulsion technologies, the HSTDV has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The test was conducted by DRDO at 11.30 IST from APJ Abdul Kalam testing range in Odisha and lasted for five minutes. This implies that the DRDO would be able to develop hypersonic missiles with a scramjet in the next five years. A hypersonic missile would be able to cover over two kilometers per second. According to the DRDO, owing to this successful test, India has shown the capability to create complex technology to accentuate the growth of hypersonic vehicles in the coming times.
The officials added that the HSTDV can power cruise missiles and performs on scramjet engines, as opposed to the ramjet engines, which in turn, yields better results and more speed, reaching upto Mach 6, which is more than 7,000 kilometers per hour. Besides military capabilities, the HSTDV may be used to launch satellites at a low-cost.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO immediately after the test and praised their efforts to indigenously build a scramjet engine. He said that it is a landmark achievement towards realizing the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India). “The @DRDO_India has today successfully flight tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle using the indigenously developed scramjet propulsion system. With this success, all critical technologies are now established to progress to the next phase,” Rajnath Singh tweeted. He also wrote “I congratulate to DRDO on this landmark achievement towards realising the Prime Minister’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. I spoke to the scientists associated with the project and congratulated them on this great achievement. India is proud of them”.