The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in September this year successfully flight-tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) using the indigenously developed scramjet propulsion system.
Termed as a giant leap in indigenous defence technologies, the initial success of this hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology has given missile scientists the confidence to undertake R&D into much more complex areas as they progress into the next phase.
Onmanorama interacted with the HSTDV team, capturing the history of the programme and the challenges involved in realizing some of the complex technologies set to serve as the building block for next generation hypersonic vehicles.
Through this three-part series, we bring to you a glimpse of the early years of India’s HSTDV dream, the current state, and the road ahead.
A decade of work
It was in early 2000 that DRDO initiated work on HSTDV in order to be on par with developed nations in the field of hypersonics. During this period the United States, Russia and Australia were among the developed nations deeply involved in hypersonic missions.