Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Monday successfully flight tested Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle. This will pave the way for indigenous development of hypersonic cruise missiles by India which can breach some of the conventional air-defence systems and hit targets in the rival countries during a war.
In what will give India a technology edge the scramjet demonstrator vehicle travelled 6 times the speed of the sound.
“DRDO has successfully demonstrated the hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology with the flight test of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) at 1103 hours from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha today,” said a defence ministry statement. It said that the hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 kilometres (km), where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated at hypersonic Mach number. The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned.
“The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound that is nearly 02 km/second for more than 20 seconds. The critical events like fuel injection and auto ignition of scramjet demonstrated technological maturity. The scramjet engine performed in a text book manner,” said the statement.
The parameters of launch and cruise vehicle, including scramjet engine was monitored by multiple tracking radars, 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 hypersonic vehicle. All the performance parameters have indicated a resounding success of the mission, said the statement.
“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 were proven,” it said.