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India Inches Closer to Developing Hypersonic Cruise Missile With Domestically-Made Scramjet Engine

© Photo : militaryrussia.ruThe Indo-Russian BrahMos II hypersonic cruise missile (pictured here at Defexpo 2014) is the export variant of the Russian 3M22 Zircon missile
The Indo-Russian BrahMos II hypersonic cruise missile (pictured here at Defexpo 2014) is the export variant of the Russian 3M22 Zircon missile - Sputnik International
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After successfully demonstrating an anti-satellite missile last year, Narendra Modi's government has given the green light to the maiden test flight of a prototype of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle. The state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed the prototype for the test a few years ago.

India’s state-funded DRDO has today successfully flight tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) using the domestically-developed scramjet propulsion system, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced on Monday.

The development will pave the way for the development of a hypersonic cruise missile which will have a speed of over Mach 6.5. It will have multiple civilian applications, including the launching of low-cost satellite and long-range cruise missile.

"With this success, all critical technologies are now established to progress to the next phase", Rajnath Singh said while terming it a "landmark achievement" towards realising PM's vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India).

Artist's conception of a hypersonic missile during its launch phase. - Sputnik International
US Hails New Milestone in Development of Hypersonic Weapons
"I spoke to the scientists associated with the project and congratulated them on this great achievement. India is proud of them", the minister added.

The successful completion of this phase of HSTDV test comes more than a year after the anti-satellite missile test "Mission Shakti".

On 27 March 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the first-ever test of an anti-satellite missile which had successfully engaged an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in "Hit to Kill" mode. The test demonstrated India's "capability to defend its assets in outer space", he asserted.

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