India on Monday became the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to develop and successfully test hypersonic technology from APJ Abdul Kalam testing range (Wheeler Island) in Balasore, Odisha. This indigenous technology will pave the way towards the development of missiles traveling at six times the speed of sound.
The test of the Hypersonic Test Demonstrator Vehicle, developed by the DRDO was conducted at 11.03 am today using the Agni missile booster and lasted for five minutes.
People aware of the development said this test means that the DRDO will have the capacity to develop a hypersonic missile with a scramjet engine in the next five years. The test was led by DRDO chief Satheesh Reddy and his team.
The Agni missile booster took the hypersonic vehicle to a height of 30 km after which the latter separated. Afterward, the vehicle’s air intake opened and that led to the successful firing of the test scramjet engine. The combustion remained for more than 20 seconds with the vehicle achieving a speed of Mach 6.
A senior official said that “The vehicle performed successfully on all the predetermined parameters including the ability to handle combustion temperatures of over 2500 degrees Celsius as well as airspeed.”