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Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle Explained, Here’s Why it is Important for India

Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) developed the ATGM in association with High Energy Materials Research Laboratory and Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE).(Representative Image)

Pune-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) developed the ATGM in association with High Energy Materials Research Laboratory and Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE).(Representative Image)

In a major leap towards the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, DRDO has successfully flight-tested HSTDV using an indigenously developed scramjet propulsion system.

Marking a big stride towards the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, India has successfully tested Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) which used the indigenously developed scramjet propulsion system. DRDO, with this mission, has demonstrated capabilities for the highly complex technology that will serve as the building block for NextGen Hypersonic vehicles.

This comes as part of India’s push towards the development of ground and flight test hardware that is meant to help it reach its plans of a hypersonic cruise missile that travel at six times the speed of sound (Mach 6). With this, India has become the fourth country in the world after United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test this technology. The test was carried out at the APJ Abdul Kalam testing range in Balasore, Odisha at 11.03 AM using the Agni missile booster and lasted for five minutes, as per a report by Hindustan Times.

The report goes on to quote people aware of this development said that this gives DRDO the capacity to develop a hypersonic missile with a scramjet engine in the next five years. The HSTDV successfully performed on all parameters that were being monitored by the DRDO which included combustion chamber pressure, air intake and control guidance.

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The HSTDV cruise vehicle is mounted on a solid rocket motor, in this case it was the Agni missile booster, which took the scramjet engine to the required operating altitude of 30 km. After attaining the required speed and height, the scramjet engine ejects and starts with the combustion process.

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The combustion lasted for over 20 seconds during which the vehicle successfully reached the speed of Mach 6 where it was also able to successfully handle combustion temperatures of over 2500 degrees Celsius.

The report goes on to state that besides its utility for long-range cruise missiles of the future, the technology can also provide multiple civilian applications like launching satellites at low costs, citing government officials.

Congratulating the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter saying, “The @DRDO_India has today successfully flight tested the Hypersonic Technology Demontrator Vehicle using the indigenously developed scramjet propulsion system. With this success, all critical technologies are now established to progress to the next phase.”

The Minister added, “I congratulate to DRDO on this landmark achievement towards realising PM’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.”

DRDO Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy also congratulated scientists, researchers and other personnel-related with HSTDV mission for their “resolute and unwavering efforts towards strengthening India’s defence capabilities".

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal also took to Twitter to congratulate the successful testing of the indigenous technology.

The Minister said, “Congratulations @DRDO_India for flight testing of Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle. Strengthening India’s defence capabilities under RM @RajnathSingh ji, this indigenous technology is a significant milestone towards PM @NarendraModi ji’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”