Speaking to the Press on Wednesday, DRDO chief Dr G Satheesh Reddy revealed that India’s premier defence agency was looking to fully realise a complete hypersonic cruise missile system within the next half a decade, towards launching the nation into an elite group. Dr Reddy noted that the missile in development will be able to travel at speeds twice that of India’s BrahMos supersonic cruise missile believed to be among the fastest in the world.
Dr Reddy’s statement comes on the back of the DRDO successfully test-firing its Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) from the Abdul Kalam island off the coast of Odisha in early September. In doing so, India became just the fourth country behind the United States, China and Russia to develop the technology. A previous test was also carried out last year but, reportedly, failed to meet the required parameters to deem it a success.
The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration for hypersonic speed flight. The word ‘hypersonic’ is typically associated with speeds above Mach-5 or five times that of the speed of sound.