New Delhi: India yesterday test-fired an indigenous hypersonic missile that can travel 5 times the speed of sound.
The Indian Army already has BrahMos supersonic missiles equipped with ramjet engines. This missile, developed by India in collaboration with Russia, can travel at a speed of Mach 2.8. Its range has also been increased from 290 km to 450 km now.
India, China, Russia and the United States are involved in the production of a hypersonic missile that travels at 5 times the speed of sound. The test of India’s first hypersonic missile (HSDTV) ended in failure in June 2019. The second test was conducted in September 2020. The scramjet-powered missile flew at Mach-6 speed for 22 to 23 seconds.
Meanwhile, the 3rd test of the indigenously manufactured hypersonic missile (HSDTV) was carried out yesterday at Abdul Kalam Island in the state of Odisha. DRDO is yet to confirm whether the test was successful or not. However, reports suggest that the first phase of the hypersonic missile test has been successful, but data on the performance of the scram jet engine needs to be scrutinized in detail.
As the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) stated in a report last year:
India, which has usually been modernizing its nuclear weapons targeting Pakistan, now seems to be modernizing its nuclear weapons targeting China. India currently has 2 types of aircraft, 4 types of land-launched missiles and 2 types of sea-launched missiles to use nuclear weapons. India is developing 4 more types of weapons for this purpose. These are nearing completion. It is estimated that India has produced up to 700 kg of weapons-grade plutonium. These can produce 138 to 213 nuclear weapons. India currently has 160 nuclear warheads, Pakistan has 165, China has 350, the US has 5,428, and Russia has 5,977. FAS said this.