The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Conducted the maiden test of an indigenously developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle- (HSTDV) along with several technologies.
The DRDO launched a technology demonstrator vehicle to prove a number of critical technologies for futuristic missions from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
Ministry of Defence (MoD) made an announcement without identifying what the technology demonstrator was or if it met the objectives
Former DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat had said in 2008, as the Chief Controller, R, and D (Missiles and Strategic Systems). So, that through the HSTDV project the idea was to demonstrate the performance of a scram-jet engine at an altitude of 15 km to 20 km.
Under the HSTDV program, a demonstrator flight vehicle has been conceptualized to demonstrate the scramjet technology for a short duration of about 20 seconds.
Once it is achieved successfully, India will join another, select club of countries having such technology.
Apart from being used as a vehicle for hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles. The HSTDV is a dual-use technology that will have multiple civilian applications including the launching of small satellites at low cost.
The HSTDV cruise vehicle is mounted on a solid rocket motor, which will take it to a required altitude. And once it attains certain Mach numbers for speed, the cruise vehicle will be ejected out of the launch vehicle. Subsequently, the scramjet engine will be ignited automatically.
In scram-jet technology, combustion of fuel takes place in a chamber in the missile at supersonic speeds. This is different from a ramjet system where the system collects the air it needs from the atmosphere during the flight at subsonic speeds and the propellants burn in the combustion chamber.