DRDO Tests Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle: What is Scramjet Propulsion System?

DRDO successfully tested the country’s indigenous Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle using scramjet propulsion system

New Update

Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle, based on India’s indigenously built scramjet propulsion system, was successfully tested by DRDO yesterday. With this new development, India has become the fourth country in the world, after the US, Russia, and China, to develop and test the technology. “In a historic mission today, India successfully flight-tested Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV), a giant leap in indigenous defence technologies and a significant milestone towards a Sashaktbharat and Atmanirbharbharat,” said DRDO.


The Defence Research and Development Organisation also added that through this highly complex technology, the organisation in partnership with the industry will develop next-generation hypersonic vehicles. I congratulate to DRDO on this landmark achievement towards realising PM’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. I spoke to the scientists associated with the project and congratulated them on this great achievement. India is proud of them,” said Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister of India.

Meaning of Scramjet Propulsion System Used by DRDO in HSTDV

Scramjet propulsion system is a ramjet engine wherein the airflow through the engine remains supersonic, or greater than the speed of sound, says the NASA website. Vehicles that have been powered by the scramjet propulsion system can operate at speeds up to at least Mach 15. Basically, thrust is responsible to push an aircraft forward in the air.

In the case of scramjet propulsion system, the passing of hot exhaust through a nozzle produces thrust. However, to maintain the flow through the nozzle, the combustion must occur at a pressure that is higher than the pressure at the nozzle exit. In a ramjet, the high pressure is produced by "ramming" external air into the combustor using the forward speed of the vehicle, says NASA. The combustion in question occurs at subsonic speeds.

The Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle developed by DRDO apparently achieved six times the speed of sound. “Congratulations to DRDO for successful flight of the Hypersonic Test Demonstration Vehicle today. 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,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.