Connect with us

Featured

India Goes Hypersonic; Still Decades Behind Chinese DF-17 Hypersonic Missiles – Experts

Published

on

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Monday (September 07), successfully tested its indigenously-developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) and became only the fourth country in the world to do so after the United States, Russia and China.

Amid China Tensions, India Still Looking For US Permission To Procure Russian S-400 Missiles?

India joined the elite group after its unmanned scramjet vehicle, which possesses the ability to travel at six times the speed of sound, was launched at 11 am (GMT 0530) on Monday from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of India’s eastern Odisha state.

The DRDO, in a series of tweets, stated, “In a historic mission today, India successfully flight-tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV), (which is) a giant leap in indigenous defence technologies and a significant milestone towards a Sashakt Bharat and Atmanirbhar Bharat. DRDO, with this mission, has demonstrated capabilities for highly complex technology that will serve as the building blocks for NextGen Hypersonic vehicles in partnership with the industry.”

This was followed by a tweet from Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who said – “The DRDO has, today, successfully tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle using the indigenously developed scramjet propulsion system. With this success, all critical technologies are now established to progress to the next phase.”

The HSTDV was launched atop an Agni-I rocket, taking it to an altitude of 18.6 miles and hypersonic velocity. The test’s success paves the way for the development of a hypersonic ‘quick reaction missile’ which can reportedly be used to intercept incoming missiles in the Earth’s inner as well as outer atmosphere.

What Is HSTDV?

HSTDV or Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for undergoing hypersonic speed flights, which has been developed by DRDO, an agency run under India’s Ministry of Defence.

Under DRDO’s HSTDV Program, the Hypersonic Vehicle is not the weapon itself but is being developed as a carrier vehicle for hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles. It will also carry out a range of civilian applications which will include the launching of small satellites.

The whole process starts with HSTDV being mounted on a solid rocket motor, which will carry it up to a set altitude, following which when the vehicle attains the desired Mach levels of speed, is ejected out of the launch vehicle.

 Hypersonic Speed

As per the rules of aerodynamics, a hypersonic speed is a speed that exceeds the speed of sound, often labelled as beginning at speeds of Mach 5 and above. The HSTDV has the ability to cruise at a speed of Mach 6, i.e. six times the speed of sound, while also rising to an altitude of 32.5 kilometres in around 20 seconds.

Hypersonic weapons pose a major threat to enemy nations, as a majority of the radars will find it difficult to detect the incoming missiles early enough to intercept it.

Scramjet Engine

While a ramjet engine operates by combustion of fuel in a stream of air compressed by the forward speed of the aircraft itself as opposed to a normal jet engine, a scramjet (supersonic-combustion ramjet), is an upgrade on the ramjet, as the airflow through the engine remains supersonic, or greater than the speed of sound.

As compared to Scramjet powered vehicles, which are envisioned to operate at speeds up to at least Mach 15, Ramjets operate from Mach 3 to Mach 6, but their efficiency drops considerably at hypersonic speeds.

With launch vehicles using combustion of propellants consisting of oxidiser and fuel for deriving energy, the HSTDV utilizes air-breathing scramjet technology to propel it to hypersonic speeds, meaning it uses atmospheric oxygen for propulsion.

The air-breathing propulsion systems use atmospheric oxygen, which is available up to about 50 km of earth’s surface to burn off fuel stored onboard, thereby making the system lighter, highly efficient as well as cost-effective.

Hypersonic missiles are labelled as “a new class of military threat” due to their capability of flying faster than the speed of 5,000 kilometres per hour.

India’s successful testing should set it on the path of incorporating the technology into next-generation weapons, with the possession of such hypersonic missiles giving India the power to penetrate most missile defences, and shortening the response time by nations.

The possession of the hypersonic missiles at the hands of the Indian Navy could prove to be the game-changer in future conflicts, especially at a time when India and China tensions have skyrocketed, and the battle has gone well beyond from Eastern Ladakh to the Indian Ocean.

While India now stands tall with Russia, the US and China in unlocking the hypersonic technology, other nations like Japan, Australia and some European nations are still working towards developing similar technologies.

Chinese Hypersonic Missile To Specifically Check US, Indian Threats

DF-17 China

The successful demonstration sets a path on which India might find the answers to hypersonic developments, including the aerodynamic configuration of the cruise vehicle, separation mechanism, scramjet ignition, and sustained combustion in the hypersonic realm.

Earlier, China last year flaunted its DF-17 missile with a hypersonic glide vehicle at its national military parade while India, as the EurAsian Times reported, had unsuccessfully conducted its maiden launch of a new hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle.

The DF-17’s hypersonic armament gives Beijing a significant advantage over India and other regional foes due to the glide vehicle’s unpredictable ballistic trajectory.

The DF-17 along with the DF-ZF, was officially unveiled at the National Day military parade on 1 October 2019, making this China’s first operational hypersonic weapon systems and one of the world’s first to be put in the full initial operation.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

FEATURED

Capital-of-Israel-Jerusalem Capital-of-Israel-Jerusalem
Featured2 hours ago

How Sworn Enemies Pakistan & Israel Are Supporting Azerbaijan While Armenia Gets Russian & Indian Backing?

The tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia are at its peak with deadly attacks that shook the Armenian-controlled Karabakh in the...

F-35-INDIA F-35-INDIA
Americas12 hours ago

Not F-35 Jets or F-22 Raptors, This Is The World’s 1st Stealth Aircraft & Still The Fastest Ever

The United States along with Russia are front-runners when it comes to devising modern technology and blending it with state-of-the-art...

INDIA-CHINA INDIA-CHINA
Asia Pacific14 hours ago

China Could Soon Deploy ‘Unmanned Helicopters’ In Ladakh As Tensions Mount With India

With the diplomatic and military talks in progress between the high ranking officials of New Delhi and Beijing, Indian and...

Capital-of-Israel-Jerusalem Capital-of-Israel-Jerusalem
Featured15 hours ago

Three Islamic Countries That May Never Recognize Israel Despite The Acceptance Of Saudi Arabia?

In the wake of the ongoing developments, when clouds of war are hovering over India and China / Pakistan, perhaps...

missile missile
Featured17 hours ago

Russian & Israeli Origin Missiles Deployed In Ladakh As India Looks To Keep China At Bay

Amid heightening tensions in Eastern Ladakh with China, India has reportedly deployed BrahMos and Nirbhay cruise missiles along with Akash...

C-17-GLOBEMASTER C-17-GLOBEMASTER
Expert Reviews17 hours ago

Not Rafale Jets, But C-17 Globemasters Will Be The Real ‘Game Changer’ In India-China Clash At Ladakh

With neither of the two neighbours India or China ready to put their sword down, Ladakh continues to become a...

BALOCHISTAN BALOCHISTAN
Featured22 hours ago

Afghan Peace Talks: Afghanistan’s Chief Peace Negotiator Lands In Pakistan

Afghan Peace Talks: Abdullah Abdullah will meet Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi,...

INDIAN-NAVY INDIAN-NAVY
Expert Reviews23 hours ago

Three Regions Where India Is Silently ‘Choking’ China & A Furious Beijing Has No Answer?

While China is finding itself getting entangled in serious standoffs with several countries including India and the US, it is...

LASER-WEAPONS LASER-WEAPONS
Americas1 day ago

DRDO Accelerates Work On ‘Laser Weapons’; But Where Does India Stand Against China, Russia & The US?

There might be a possibility that future global conflicts including between India and China could be fought with Star Wars-type...

turkey-Pakistan-ties turkey-Pakistan-ties
EurAsian Region1 day ago

Turkey, Pakistan Vow Full Support To Azerbaijan Against Armenia; US, Iran Call For De-Escalation

The Middle East and Asian nations expressed their concern over escalating clashes between Armenian forces and Azerbaijani military in the...

Advertisement