News Excerpt
DRDO has successfully demonstrated the hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology with the flight test of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV).
•    The Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight, developed by India's DRDO. HSTDV is not a weapon itself but and is being developed as a carrier vehicle for hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles.
•    The HSTDV cruise vehicle is mounted on a solid rocket motor, which takes it to a required altitude. Once it attains certain Mach numbers for speed, the cruise vehicle is ejected out of the launch vehicle. After that, the scramjet engine is ignited automatically.
•    With this successful demonstration, many critical technologies such as aerodynamic configuration for hypersonic manoeuvers, use of scramjet propulsion for ignition and sustained combustion at hypersonic flow, thermo-structural characterisation of high temperature materials, separation mechanism at hypersonic velocities etc. were proven.  
•    The speed and manoeuvrability enable hypersonic missiles to penetrate most missile defences, and further compress the timelines for a response by a nation under attack.
•    The only countries in the world which have hypersonic technology are the United States of America, Russia and China.
•    In addition to war applications, India will also use HSTDV for multiple civilian applications including the launching of small satellites at low cost.