India successfully tests scramjet demonstrator aircraft

India successfully launched the indigenously-developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) in its maiden test from a base off the Odisha coast on Wednesday.

The HSTDV was successfully test-fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from Launch Complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on Dr. Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal at 11.27 am, DRDO sources said.

A Defence Ministry statement said the DRDO launched the technology demonstrator vehicle to prove a number of critical technologies for futuristic missions.

"The missile was successfully launched. Various radars, telemetry stations and electro-optical tracking sensors tracked the vehicle through its course. The data has been collected and will be analysed to validate the critical technologies," it added.

Though the Defence Ministry termed the test firing of HSTDV as successful, military sources said all the objectives of the maiden test of the platform were not met.

They said the scientists involved in the project were looking into the outcome of the test results.

The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight, it can cruise at a speed of mach 6 and move up to an altitude of 32.5 km (20 miles) in 20 seconds, the sources said.

Besides its utility for long-range cruise missiles of the future, the dual-use technology will have multiple civilian applications also. It can be used for launching satellites at low cost too, they added.

(Agencies)