DRDO has successfully demonstrated the Hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology with the flight test of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) at 1103 hours on 07 Sept 2020 from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha.
The Hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 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 i.e. nearly 2 km/s for more than 20s. The critical events like fuel injection and auto ignition of scramjet demonstrated technological maturity. The scramjet engine performed in a textbook manner. The parameters of launch and cruise vehicles, including the scramjet engine was monitored by multiple tracking radars, electro-optical systems, and Telemetry Stations. The scramjet engine worked at high dynamic pressure and at a very high temperature. The ship was also deployed in the Bay of Bengal to monitor the performance during the cruise phase of the hypersonic vehicles. All the performance parameters have indicated a resounding success of the mission. 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 characterization of high-temperature materials, separation mechanism at hypersonic velocities, etc.
Hon’ble Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh, congratulated DRDO for achieving this milestone. Secretary DD R&D and Chairman DRDO congratulated all the scientists and support staff for their contributions in proving highly complex air-breathing hypersonic technology. On this successful demonstration, the country enters the Hypersonic regime paving way for advanced Hypersonic Vehicles.