India’s military research agency DRDO has successfully tested a scramjet-equipped flight demonstrator designed for cruising at Mach-6 speeds and aimed towards developing technology for future cruise missiles.
The projectile was launched on Monday from the Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast, marking its second successful flight test. The previous test took place in June of last year and sparked rumors that it was only partially successful, due to problems with the Agni-I ballistic missile used to give the demonstrator the necessary start speed. Footage of the new test shows the launch as well as separation of the experimental vehicle from its booster.
Successful flight test of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island off the cost of Odisha today. pic.twitter.com/7SstcyLQVo
— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) September 7, 2020
The Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) is equipped with a scramjet engine, a type of propulsion system that requires a supersonic air flow to sustain fuel combustion. It allows an aircraft to move at very high speeds but also poses serious design and manufacturing challenges.
The test validates the Indian approach to the advanced system, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said in a statement. The now-proven critical technologies include “aerodynamic configuration for hypersonic manoeuvers, use of scramjet propulsion for ignition and sustained combu