Indian scientists achieved another milestone on this 7 September. Taking a major leap forward towards making hypersonic missile, DRDO successfully tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle.
Launched from Wheeler Island in Odisha at 11.03 am, the vehicle achieved a height of 30 km. Its engine based on Scramjet technology functioned perfectly and within 20 seconds the vehicle flew at 6 times the speed of 6 MAC.During this time, complex procedures like fuel injection and auto ignition continued to work perfectly.
Scramjet technology is basically based on bringing the air inside the engine under great pressure and burning it back very quickly. This is extremely difficult to achieve because the engine has to work at very high temperatures and very high speeds. Supersonic speeds range from a quarter to five times the speed of sound, but from a hypersonic sound, a speed from 5 to 10 times. The engine is made with special materials to keep it safe from the temperature generated at this speed.
This success of Indian scientists has cleared the way for hypersonic cruise missiles.
India has one of the most successful supersonic cruise missile BrahMos among its cross missiles with range of 300 km to 500 km. A hypersonic version is currently being worked on.
Production of the subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay has also started, which has a range of 1000 km. The hypersonic missile Shaurya has joined the Indian Army with a range of 700 to 1900 km.