JNS: India has successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed high-speed expendable aerial target – ABHYAS, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur off the Odisha coast. The performance of the aircraft at low altitude, 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 the ITR, including radar and an electro-optical targeting system.
ABHYAS is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defence Research and Development Organisation (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 congratulated DRDO and the armed forces for the successful flight trial of ABHYAS. He said that the development of this system will meet the requirements of aerial targets.
DRDO chairman G. Satheesh Reddy lauded the efforts of the teams associated with the design, development and testing of the system.