The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) today successfully flight-tested Abhyas—High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Bay of Bengal in Odisha.
The performance of the aircraft at low altitudes, including sustained level and high manoeuvrability was demonstrated during the test flight. The target aircraft was flown from a ground-based controller in a pre-designated low-altitude flight path, which was monitored by various tracking sensors deployed by ITR, including radar and an electro-optical targeting system.
ABHYAS is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment of DRDO. The air vehicle was launched using twin under-slung boosters which provide the initial acceleration to the vehicle. It is powered by a small gas turbine engine to sustain a long endurance flight at high subsonic speed.
The target aircraft is equipped with Micro-Electromechanical Systems-based Inertial Navigation System for navigation along with the Flight Control Computer for guidance and control along with Indigenous Radio Altimeter for very low altitude flight and Data Link for encrypted communication between the Ground Control Station and Target Aircraft. The vehicle is programmed for fully autonomous flight.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO, Armed Forces and the industry for the successful flight trial of ABHYAS and said that the development of this system will meet the requirements of aerial targets for the Armed Forces.