The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Tuesday conducted successful flight-tests of the indigenously-designed Abhyas High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) in Balasore. It said in a statement that during trials for the interim test range, two demonstrator vehicles were successfully test flown. The vehicle is a drone that will be used as a target for various missile systems, DRDO said. It can also be used as a decoy aircraft, if needed.
Lauding the achievement, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted: “The DRDO achieved a milestone today with the successful flight test of ABHYAS – High Speed Expandable Aerial Target from ITR Balasore. This can be used as a target for evaluation of various Missile systems.” He also congratulated DRDO and “other stakeholders for this achievement” in his tweet.
The DRDO achieved a milestone today with the successful flight test of ABHYAS – High Speed Expandable Aerial Target from ITR Balasore. This can be used as a target for evaluation of various Missile systems. Congratulations to @DRDO_India & other stakeholders for this achievement.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 22, 2020
This is the second time that the target vehicle was flight-tested successfully. The first successful test was in May 2019. But during Tuesday’s tests, Abhyas cleared all the parameters that were being evaluated.
According to DRDO, the test vehicle met “the user requirement of 5 km flying altitude, vehicle speed of 0.5 mach [half the speed of sound], endurance of 30 minutes and 2G turn capability”.
Designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of DRDO, Abhyas is capable of fully-autonomous flight and runs on a gas turbine engine. Its inertial navigation system is based on micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and it uses a flight control computer for guidance and control, the DRDO said.