India Plans Testing of Hypersonic Glide Vehicle in Early January 2023?


New Delhi: India has issued a no fly zone notification over the Bay of Bengal for a likely missile test, the launch window for which is between January 4 and 6 leading to speculation of possible testing of Hypersonic Glide Vehicle, media reports said.

In 2020, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had tested the hypersonic air-breathing scramjet system for propulsion, called the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle or HSTDV. According to a defence official, the HSTDV attained a speed of Mach 6 for 23 seconds during the testing.

“India has joined a select group of countries, including the United States, Russia, and China, that have indigenously developed technology capable of making the HSTDV take an unpredictable trajectory and elude interceptor detection,” a defence official said, adding that the test-firing might be related to the BrahMos-2 hypersonic missile, which is expected to be modelled on Russia’s Zircon hypersonic missile.

High-end hypersonic [glide] vehicles that can cross Mach 6 and 8 are expected to be developed by 2024 or 2025, Kailash Kumar Pathak, Director of Futuristic Technology Management under the Defence Ministry, said speaking on the sidelines of the Coimbatore Defence Conclave 2022 at Kumaraguru Institutions, in July 2022.

According to a report by Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the US, India is among the select few countries which are developing hypersonic weapons. It said although the US, Russia and China possess the most advanced hypersonic weapons programs, a number of other countries, including Australia, India, France, Germany and Japan, are also developing hypersonic weapons technology.