The first successful test of a Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle or HSTDV --which can be used for futuristic missile system and aircraft -- was conducted today off the coast of Odisha. So far, Russia, China and the US have been developing hypersonic test vehicles. A hypersonic cruise missile, once developed, can defeat any Chinese defensive system, scientists said.Defence research organisation DRDO, which conducted today's test, called it a "historic mission", which was "a giant leap in indigenous defence technologies and significant milestone" towards a Self-Reliant and Empowered India.
Calling it a "major technological breakthrough," DRDO chief Dr Satheesh Reddy said: "This testing paves the way for many more critical technologies, materials, and hypersonic vehicles' development. This puts India in a select club of nations which have demonstrated this technology".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated DRDO on the achievement.
Congratulations to @DRDO_India for successful flight of the Hypersonic Test Demonstration Vehicle today. The scramjet engine developed by our scientists helped the flight achieve a speed 6 times the speed of sound! Very few countries have such capability today.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 7, 2020
Congratulating the scientists, Defence minister Rajnath Singh tweeted a video of the launch.
Successful flight test of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island off the cost of Odisha today. pic.twitter.com/7SstcyLQVo— / RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) September 7, 2020
Hypersonic technology deals with movement at least five times the speed of sound, termed Mach 1.
Hypersonic speed is generally accepted to be Mach 5, or 3,836.35 miles per hour in conditions of 20 degrees Celsius at sea level. The conditions are important since the speed of sound can vary according to temperature and height.
The Indian hypersonic test vehicle flies six times the speed of sound, the DRDO said.
The vehicle, launched off the Wheeler Island on Odisha coast, flew at 2 km per second for more than 20 seconds, which the scientists said was "text-book".
In a media statement, the DRDO said, "With this successful demonstration, many critical technologies such as aerodynamic configuration for Hypersonic manoeuvers, use of scramjet propulsion for ignition and sustained combustion at hypersonic flow, thermo-structural characterisation of high temperature materials, separation mechanism at hypersonic velocities etc" will be possible.
the highly complex technology serve as the "building block for NextGen Hypersonic vehicles in partnership with industry", DRDO said..