India's Defence Research and Development Organisation has successfully tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV), which has an indigenously development scramjet propulsion system.

The hypersonic missile carrier can travel faster than the speed of sound at Mach 6 while carrying a mother rocket or even help launch satellites into Low-Earth Orbit (LEO).

The successful test of this technology will help the DRDO advance its development of India's hypersonic missile, the BrahMos-II.

What Makes A Hypersonic Weapon So Dangerous?

In order for a weapon to be categorised as hypersonic there are three factors that need to be taken into account. It needs to be able to fly at speeds of at least 5,000 kilometres per hour (Mach 5), keep low and not lose manoeuvrability during flight.

This makes it more unpredictable and lethal as compared to conventional missile systems. Missile systems generally follow a ‘ballistic trajectory’ — paths that are easy to follow and detect. This gives the adversary time to prepare and launch a counter attack.

A hypersonic weapons system on the other hand can change course at will and doesn’t follow any kind of flight plan that the enemy can predict. This also puts a larger area under threat. There’s no time for the targeted region to detect, identify, alert and then try to hit back.

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