indian hypersonic missile
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What we know so far about India’s new hypersonic vehicle ?


A little over a year after India’s first test of a hypersonic air vehicle didn’t quite go as planned, a second test conducted this morning has been officially declared to be a major success, with the hypersonic vehicle separating successfully and completing a flight with speeds of up to 6 Mach. The test is a credible first step towards an entire family of very high cruise missiles and other weapon systems.

Cutting-edge hypersonic missiles could massively increase the potency of Indian armed forces especially Indian Navy warships in a future conflict. India test fired its first hypersonic missile demonstrator on Monday. The test comes amid heightened tensions with China. There have been a series of clashes and shots fired on the border the same day. The rivalry between Indian and china extends into the maritime domain where the rapid expansion of the Chinese Navy may soon reach into the Indian Ocean, where the Indian navy deployed Aircraft carrier Vikramaditya near south china sea.

Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully demonstrated hypersonic jet super-fueled stamping engine technology by conducting flight tests of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) at 11:03 a.m. on Monday at a launch site near Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa.

Launched using a proven solid rocket engine, the hypersonic cruiser takes it to an altitude of 30 km, the heat shield is separated by Mach 3, the cruiser is separated from the launch vehicle and the air inflater opens as planned.

DRDO HSTDV scale model
DRDO HSTDV scale model

Hypersonic combustion lasts and six times the speed of sound for 22 seconds. India says key events such as fuel injection and automatic ignition of super-combustible stamping engines indicate that technology is ripe and that super-combustion stamping engines are executed in a textbook manner.

The parameters of launch vehicles and cruise vehicles, including super-combustible stamping engines, are monitored by multiple tracking radars, electro-optical systems and telemetry stations.

According to DRDO through this successful demonstration, many key technologies were successfully tested, such as aerodynamic configurations for supersonic manipulation, ignition and continuous combustion using super-combustible stamping engines in supersonic flow, thermal structural characterisation of high-temperature materials, and hypersonic separation.

What makes hypersonic weapons so dangerous?

You can reach anywhere on earth in an hour.

In order to classify weapons as hypersonic, three factors need to be considered. It must be able to fly at at least 6000 km/h (Mach 5), maintain high speed and not lose mobility during flight.

This makes it even more unpredictable than conventional missile systems, which typically follow a “ballistic” path that is easy to track and detect. This gives the opponent time to prepare and launch a counterattack.

Hypersonic weapon systems, on the other hand, are free to change course and do not follow any flight plans that the enemy can predict, which also threatens larger areas. The target area does not have time to detect, identify and then fight back.

The biggest selling point is that it can also be used to launch satellites at low cost.

BRAHMOS 2 hypersonic missile of India
BRAHMOS 2 hypersonic missile of India

While HSTDV can transport satellites into space at low cost, it is most useful for launching them into low-Earth orbit (LEO). This is because rocket engines usually use fuel to launch satellites. This fuel consists of two parts – oxidants and fuels.

HSTDV, on the other hand, uses an over-combustible stamping engine. If the temperature is too high, there will not be enough oxygen in the atmosphere to support its attitude of flying more than 1000 kilometers.

HSTDV
HSTDV

The success of HSTDV will help India put its next-generation hypersonic missile Brahmos-II into service. DRDO is currently working with Russia to develop this product.

Prime minister Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh, India’s defence minister, proudly announced the successful test of the hypersonic vehicle, calling it a “landmark achievement” and congratulating India on the successful test flight of the HDDV aircraft of the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and told that “India is proud”


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