India's state-run Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has conducted tests of the "Abhyas" High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) drone from Interim Test Range (ITR) in Odisha state, eastern India on Monday.
“The flight test was tracked by various RADARS and Electro Optic Systems and proved its performance in fully autonomous way point navigation mode,” the DRDO said in a statement.
Abhyas is drone involving designed for autonomous flight with the help of an autopilot.
The configuration of Abhyas is designed on an in-line small gas turbine engine and uses indigenously developed MEMS based navigation system for its navigation and guidance. The performance of the system was as per simulations carried out and demonstrated the capability of the drone to meet the mission requirement for a cost effective HEAT, DRDO said.
The Abhyas is launched from a mobile launcher with the help of two 68 mm booster rockets (being manufactured at ordinance factories). At the end of its launch phase the burnout booster rockets are jettisoned. Thereafter, the main gas-turbine engine powers the vehicle during cruise phase.
Abhyas's radar cross-section (RCS) as well as its visual and infrared signatures can be augmented to simulate a variety of aircraft for air-defense weapon practices. It can also function as a jammer platform and decoy. The HEAT system is utilized to do away with the post-launch recovery mode, which is time-consuming and difficult in a scenario as the sea.
The concept of Abhyas was proved and pre-project details were completed on January 2013. The first experimental launch (minus the engine) was conducted in 2012. The design of the fuselage is based is based on Lakshya, a high speed target drone system developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of DRDO.