Yes, India Has New Hypersonic Missiles

 In China, CIS, Air, Forces & Capabilities, FVEY

Key point New Delhi is eager to deter its region­al allies. That means having advanced tech­nolo­gies such as hyper­son­ics.

India is among the elite nations of the world to pos­sess nuclear weapons, and accord­ing to mul­ti­ple sources could also be in anoth­er elite club of nations to pos­sess hyper­son­ic mis­sile tech­nol­o­gy. After years of research and devel­op­ment (R&D) efforts this month, India suc­cess­ful­ly tested an indige­nous­ly devel­oped hyper­son­ic tech­nol­o­gy demon­stra­tor vehi­cle (HSTDV).

To date, only the United States, Russia and China boast­ed the tech­nol­o­gy. Monday’s test comes as ten­sions between New Delhi and Beijing remain high over the dis­put­ed Line of Actual Control, which sep­a­rates Indian and Chinese-con­trolled ter­ri­to­ry along the Himalayas.

This first appeared ear­li­er and is being repost­ed due to reader inter­est.

A state­ment from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) noted the mis­sion demon­strat­ed the capa­bil­i­ties for the plat­form.

“The @DRDO_India has today suc­cess­ful­ly flight tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle using the indige­nous­ly devel­oped scram­jet propul­sion system,” Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh posted on the social media plat­form Twitter. “With this suc­cess, all crit­i­cal tech­nolo­gies are now estab­lished to progress to the next phase.”

DRDO also said that the hyper­son­ic cruise vehi­cle was launched by uti­liz­ing a pre­vi­ous­ly tested solid rocket motor, which pro­pelled the vehicle/missile to an alti­tude of thirty kilo­me­ters, where the aero­dy­nam­ic heat shields sep­a­rat­ed at hyper­son­ic speeds.

“The cruise vehi­cle sep­a­rat­ed from the launch vehi­cle and the air intake (chan­nel) opened as planned,” the DRDO statement read. “The hyper­son­ic com­bus­tion (was) sus­tained and the cruise vehi­cle con­tin­ued on its desired flight path at a veloc­i­ty of six times the speed of sound i.e. nearly 2 km/s for more than 20s. The crit­i­cal events like fuel injec­tion and auto igni­tion of scram­jet demon­strat­ed tech­no­log­i­cal matu­ri­ty. The scram­jet engine per­formed in a text book manner. The para­me­ters of launch and cruise vehi­cle, includ­ing scram­jet engine was mon­i­tored by mul­ti­ple track­ing radars, elec­tro-opti­cal sys­tems and teleme­try sta­tions.” 

A war­ship was deployed to the Bay of Bengal to mon­i­tor the per­for­mance during the cruise phase of the test.  

“Congratulations to DRDO for the suc­cess­ful flight of the Hypersonic Test Demonstration Vehicle today,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi respond­ed in a tweet and statement. “The scram­jet engine devel­oped by our sci­en­tists helped the flight achieve a speed 6 times the speed of sound! Very few coun­tries have such capa­bil­i­ty today.” 

Weapon Platform and More 

HSDTV has a range of uses that include mis­siles for air defense as well as for sur­veil­lance and recon­nais­sance. In addi­tion, the tech­nol­o­gy can be employed as energy-effi­cient, low-cost and reusable satel­lite launch vehi­cles.  

As a weapon, hyper­son­ic mis­siles are notable in that they can travel at five times the speed of sound and can maneu­ver with com­put­er­ized pre­ci­sion while descend­ing back into the earth’s atmos­phere, which makes them nearly unstop­pable. The speed and force is so sig­nif­i­cant that a hyper­son­ic mis­sile can inflict damage by sheer “kinet­ic” impact with­out need­ing explo­sives. 

But they can also be armed with nuclear warheads. The com­bi­na­tion of an inter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile with a nuclear war­head presents a very seri­ous con­cern to mil­i­taries around the world.  

The Pentagon has seen the threat and has worked to devel­op space sensor layer tech­nol­o­gy as a coun­ter­mea­sure. Last year, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency entered Phase IIa of an emerg­ing sensor tech­nol­o­gy specif­i­cal­ly engi­neered to estab­lish a con­tin­u­ous ‘track’ on approaching hypersonic missiles. Called the Hypersonic Ballistic Missile Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS), the tech­nol­o­gy could be as much of a game-chang­er as the hyper­son­ic mis­siles.  

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has con­tributed to more than four dozen mag­a­zines, news­pa­pers and web­sites. He is the author of sev­er­al books on mil­i­tary head­gear includ­ing A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is avail­able on Amazon.comThis first appeared ear­li­er and is being repost­ed due to reader inter­est.

Image: Reuters.

National Interest source|articles

Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search