India among select few countries developing hypersonic missiles, says US Congressional report

The independent Congressional Research Service says this in a latest report this week

India among select few countries developing hypersonic missiles, says US Congressional report

Photo for representation purposes. Reuters

Washington, October 22

India is among the select few countries which are developing hypersonic weapons, an independent Congressional report has said, amidst a media report which claimed that China recently tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile which circled the globe before missing its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that caught US intelligence by surprise.

The independent Congressional Research Service (CRS), in a latest report this week, said although the US, Russia and China possess the most advanced hypersonic weapons programmes, a number of other countries, including Australia, India, France, Germany and Japan, are also developing hypersonic weapons technology.

While Australia has collaborated with the US, India has collaborated with Russia on this, the CRS said in its report.

India has collaborated with Russia on the development of BrahMos II, a Mach 7 hypersonic cruise missile, the CRS report said.

“Although BrahMos II was initially intended to be fielded in 2017, news reports indicate that the programme faces significant delays and is now scheduled to achieve initial operational capability between 2025 and 2028.

“Reportedly, India is also developing an indigenous, dual-capable hypersonic cruise missile as part of its Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle programme and successfully tested a Mach 6 scramjet in June 2019 and September 2020,” the CRS said.

India operates approximately 12 hypersonic wind tunnels and is capable of testing speeds of up to Mach 13, said the Congressional report which is prepared by independent subject area experts for members of the US Congress.

The Financial Times this week reported that China has tested hypersonic missiles. However, China denied it, saying it tested a hypersonic “vehicle” and not a nuclear-capable hypersonic “missile” as reported by the leading British newspaper which also said that the missile missed its target by about two-dozen miles.

The report said that China tested the nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August that circled the globe before speeding towards its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that caught US intelligence by surprise. PTI

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