India joins elite hypersonic missile club, Rajnath hails feat

Hypersonic Test Demonstrator Vehicle can launch missiles that can travel at six times the speed of sound

India, on Monday, successfully tested hypersonic technology from APJ Abdul Kalam testing range in Balasore, Odisha. Photo: Twitter

India now is next only to the United States, Russia and China in having the capability to develop hypersonic missile with scramjet engine.

India, on Monday (September 7), successfully tested hypersonic technology from APJ Abdul Kalam testing range in Balasore, Odisha. Having the technology means India can now develop missiles capable of travelling at six times the speed of sound (Mach 6).

The Hypersonic Test Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The vehicle was tested at 11.03 am today using the Agni missile booster. DRDO chief Satheesh Reddy and his hypersonic missile team led the test.

Experts say the test means that the DRDO will have the capacity to develop a hypersonic missile with scramjet engine in next five years, with a capacity to travel at a speed of more than two km/second.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO team for the successful test.

“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,” Singh tweeted.

 “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,” the defence minister said in another tweet.

The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight. It is being developed as a carrier vehicle for hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles, and will have multiple civilian applications including the launching of small satellites at low cost.

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