- India has successfully conducted the first test flight of the indigenously developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle(HSTDV) from a base off the Odisha coast.
- The only other countries that possess this technology are the US, Russia and China.
- The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration vehicle that can cruise up to a speed of mach 6 (or six times the speed of sound) and rise up to an altitude of 32 km in 20 seconds.
- The HSTDV vehicle is mounted on a solid rocket motor which will take it to a required altitude and once it attains certain Mach numbers for speed,the cruise vehicle will be ejected out of the launch vehicle. Subsequently,the scramjet engine will be ignited automatically.
- Apart from being used as a vehicle for hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles,the HSTDV is a dual-use technology that will have multiple civilian applications including the launching of small satellites at low cost.
- A hypersonic missile is a quick reaction missile which makes it invaluable in offensive as well as defensive uses.In case of defence,it can be used to intercept incoming missiles in the outer atmosphere or in the inner atmosphere.
- In scram-jet technology,combustion of fuel takes place in a chamber in the missile at supersonic speeds.This is different from a ram jet system where the system collects the air it needs from the atmosphere during the flight at subsonic speeds and the propellants burn in the combustion chamber.
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