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India successfully tests hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle

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In a major achievement for India, an indigenously-developed hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle was successfully flight tested on Monday. The hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSTDV) is expected to power futuristic long-range missile systems and aerial platforms.

The major breakthrough is going to further strengthen the Indian defence systems.

The HSTDV has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is based on hypersonic propulsion technologies.

The successful flight test was carried out from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha.

Rajnath Singh congratulates DRDO

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO over the successful test flight of the HSTDV. He called it a “landmark achievement”.

“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,” he tweeted.

Step towards next-generation hypersonic vehicles

A DRDO official said, with the successful test flight of the HSTDV, India has demonstrated capabilities for a highly complex technology. Thus, it will serve as the building block for next-generation hypersonic vehicles in partnership with the domestic defence industry.

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The HSTDV powers cruise missiles and operate on scramjet engines which can attain the speed of Mach 6 which is far better than ramjet engines, DRDO officials 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 and separation mechanism at hypersonic velocities, etc, were successfully tested.

HSTDV achieved speed of nearly 2 km per second

The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued its desired flight path. It achieved a velocity of six times the speed of sound i.e. nearly 2 km per second for more than 20 seconds. The critical events like fuel injection and auto ignition of scramjet demonstrated technological maturity and the scramjet engine performed in the desired manner.

Similarly, the parameters of the launch and cruise vehicle, including the scramjet engine, were monitored by multiple tracking radars. They were also monitored using electro-optical systems and telemetry stations.

“The scramjet engine worked at high dynamic pressure and at very high temperature. A ship was also deployed in the Bay of Bengal to monitor the performance during the cruise phase of the hypersonic vehicle. All the performance parameters have indicated a resounding success of the mission,” a DRDO official said.

 

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