India’s DRDO Conducts Test Launch of Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV)

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted a test launch of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV).

The HSTDV hypersonic missile demonstrator was successfully launched at 1127 Hours on June 12 from Launch Pad 4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.

HSTDV is powered by a scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) engine which enables it to cruise at Mach 6 (six times the speed of sound). Since ramjet engines can only work at higher speeds, the HSTDV vehicle is mounted on a solid rocket motor, which will take it to a required altitude and speed. When the vehicle attains sufficient speed, it will be released from the launch vehicle.

Various radars, telemetry stations and electro optical tracking sensors tracked the vehicle through its course and the data has been collected and will be analysed to validate the critical technologies, said an Indian Ministry of Defence statement.

The test flight was conducted to prove a number of critical technologies for futuristic missions, the statement added.

With the test flight, Indian joined an elite league of four nations with capability to develop hypersonic missiles with the others being USA, Russia and China.

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