Kushal Kumar Jha
DRDO conducts successful flight-test of High-Speed Expendable Aerial Target ABHYAS
Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) conducts successful flight-test of ABHYAS - the High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) Chandipur off the coast of Bay of Bengal in Odisha. The vehicle can be used as an aerial target for the evaluation of various missile systems. The performance of the target aircraft was monitored through telemetry and various tracking sensors, including Radars and Electro-Optical Tracking System (EOTSEOTS). Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO for the successful flight trial of Abhyas. The current flight test is carried out as a part of developmental flight trials. Expression of interest for the production of the vehicle has already been floated to Indian industries. This indigenous target aircraft, once developed, will meet the requirements of High-speed Expendable Aerial Targets (HEAT) for the Indian Armed Forces. ABHYAS is designed & developed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bengaluru. The air vehicle is launched using twin under-slung boosters, which provide the initial acceleration to the vehicle. It is powered by a gas turbine engine to sustain a long endurance flight at subsonic speed. The target aircraft is equipped with a MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS) for navigation along with the Flight Control Computer (FCC) for guidance and control. The vehicle is programmed for fully autonomous flight. The check-out of air vehicles is done using a laptop-based Ground Control Station (GCS). Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO also congratulated the teams associated with the successful flight test of ‘ABHYAS’ and termed it as a force-multiplier considering its accuracy and effectiveness.