India successfully tests high-speed expendable aerial target Abhyas

ABHYAS – the High speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) was successfully flight-tested from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha on Wednesday.

ABHYAS is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

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 ITR, including radar and electro-optical targeting system.

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 ministry of defence statement said.

The target aircraft is equipped with a micro-electromechanical systems-based inertial navigation system. It also has a flight control computer for guidance and control along with a radio altimeter for very low-altitude flight and a data link for encrypted communication. The vehicle is programmed for fully autonomous flight, the statement added.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, armed forces and the industry for the successful flight trial of ABHYAS. He said that development of this system will meet the requirements of aerial targets for the armed forces.

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