It will play a major role in the development of futuristic aerospace and defence systems

With the commissioning of the advanced Hypersonic Wind Tunnel (HWT) test facility for aerospace and defence systems, India has become only the third country in the world to have this state-of-the-art system.

The indigenously developed facility has the capability to simulate hypersonic flow over a wide spectrum and will play a major role in the realization of highly complex futuristic aerospace and defence systems, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

It was inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Hyderabad on Saturday.

The HWT test facility is a pressure vacuum-driven enclosed-free jet facility. With a nozzle-exit diameter of 1 meter, it will simulate speeds ranging from Mach 5 to 12, the statement said. Mach represents the multiplication factor to the speed of sound.

India is only the third country, after the United States and Russia, to have such a large facility in terms of size and operating capability.

During the Defence Minister’s visit, the DRDO labs also showcased various indigenously developed systems and technologies including missiles, avionics systems, advanced materials, electronic warfare, quantum key distribution technology, directed energy weapons, Gallium Arsenide and Gallium Nitride technology capabilities.

The DRDO Young Scientists’ Laboratory- Asymmetric Technologies (DYSL-AT) and RCI demonstrated drone and innovative anti-drone technologies. It has multiple capabilities including neutralizing ground targets and anti-drone applications to counter stationary as well as high-speed moving targets, the defence ministry said.

The weapon system includes a secure communication link, effective recoil management system, high firing angular resolution and vision-based target detection and tracking.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy, who accompanied Singh during the visit, laid the foundation stone of an Explosive Test Facility for Propellant and Explosive Systems. This facility will be used for design validation and evaluation of missile sub-systems under different environmental conditions.

In his address to DRDO personnel, the Defence Minister lauded "the phenomenal technological achievements and recent series of successful missions and technological achievements by various clusters of DRDO," in the past six months.

These include the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV), Anti-Radiation Missile (RUDRAM), Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM), Supersonic Missile Assisted Release Torpedo (SMART) and Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology.