India Plans Hypersonic Vehicle Tests By Early Next Year

DRDO likely to test fly hypersonic plane by early next year

DRDO expects to test fly India’s indigenous hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSDTV) by early next year, the defence agency’s Chief V K Saraswat said Friday.

“We have conducted ground testing of the vehicle for nearly 20 seconds. It has performed well. We are hopeful to flight test it by early next year at Mach 6-7 speed,” Saraswat told reporters during Aero India 2011…

The highly ambitious HSDTV programme involves the development of a hypersonic plane that would travel six to seven times faster than the speed of sound. It would attain autonomous scramjet flight for 20 seconds, using a solid rocket launch booster.

While the stated objective of the programme is to reduce the cost of putting payloads in outer space, it could eventually lead to India building a highly powerful hypersonic cruise missile system for its defence forces.

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