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DRDO conducts maiden test of hypersonic technology demonstrator

DRDO's HSTDV model displayed at the ILA Berlin Air Show 2012   | Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Wednesday conducted the maiden test of an indigenously developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) along with several technologies on Wednesday morning.

“The DRDO launched a technology demonstrator vehicle to prove a number of critical technologies for futuristic missions from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha,” the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said without identifying what the technology demonstrator was or if it met the objectives. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh witnessed the launch.

The missile was successfully launched at 1127 hours and it was tracked by various radars, telemetry stations and electro optical tracking sensors through its course, the MoD added.

The test was undertaken to validate several technologies including the HSTDV, a Defence source said. “Some technologies have been validated while some remained inconclusive of which the data is being analysed,” the source added.

In the test, a missile with the technology demonstrator vehicle mounted on it is launched and the vehicle is released only after the missile reaches a certain altitude and velocity, one official explained.

Former DRDO Chief V.K. Saraswat had said in 2008, as the Chief Controller, R and D (Missiles and Strategic Systems), that through the HSTDV project the idea was to demonstrate the “performance of a scram-jet engine at an altitude of 15 km to 20 km, is on”.

“Under this project, we are developing a hypersonic vehicle that will be powered by a scram-jet engine. This is dual-use technology, which when developed, will have multiple civilian applications. It can be used for launching satellites at low cost. It will also be available for long-range cruise missiles of the future,” he had stated.

In scram-jet technology, combustion of fuel takes place in a chamber in the missile at supersonic speeds. This is different from a ram jet system where the system collects the air it needs from the atmosphere during the flight at subsonic speeds and the propellants burn in the combustion chamber.

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Printable version | May 4, 2021 1:36:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/drdo-conducts-maiden-test-of-hypersonic-technology-demonstrator/article27890922.ece

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