India might test the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) again
India has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) for a launch of an experimental flight vehicle in the Bay of Bengal for the period from 20nd to 22nd August 2020 for the area around 550km which is quite similar to the one which was issued last year before it successfully tested indigenously-developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV).
The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight. The HSTDV program is run by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation.
HSTDV Cruise vehicle will be mounted on a solid rocket motor which is covered by fairings will take it to the required altitude and once required altitude and Mach numbers are achieved cruise vehicles will be ejected out of the launch vehicle and later Scramjet engine will be auto-ignited mid-air thus taking over to propel cruise vehicle for next 20 seconds at Mach 6.
HSTDV is a very different vehicle with different set of configurations. HSTDV will fly upto Mach 6.5 whereas BrahMos-2 has lesser RCS nd will fly upto Mach-9 nd beyond. And this new heat-resistant material hasn’t been developed with Russian assistance.
A hypersonic missile with a scramjet engine at Mach 20 plus is so indefensible .And it has tremendous range extension utility. For instance an Agni-5 with a hypersonic last stage will extend its range well beyond intercontinental distances.
Pentagon has described hypersonic flight ‘the new stealth’ for its promise of evading and outrunning the enemy fire. The effort to develop hypersonic engines is necessary because they can propel vehicles at a velocity that cannot be achieved from traditional turbine-powered jet engines.
HSTDV is mounted on an Agni-I missile platform but some reports hint that the last in the missile test, Agni-I missile did not perform as required leading to partial success but other reports dismissed claims of partial success as rumors and claimed that the missile was successfully launched” and the data collected will be analysed to “validate critical technologies”