ABHYAS – a high speed expendable aerial target successfully tested | Image Courtesy: Ministry of Defence
The ABHYAS – High speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) was successfully tested on 29 June 2022, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha. During the test flight, the aircraft demonstrated sustained altitude and high manoeuvrability at low altitude. Aircraft operated from a ground-based controller flew on a pre-determined, low-altitude flight path monitored by multiple tracking sensors deployed by ITR, including radar and electro-optical targeting.

ABHYAS is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Twin underslung boosters were used to launch the air vehicle. Powered by a small gas turbine engine, it can sustain long endurance flights at high subsonic speeds. 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. It’s programmed to fly all by itself.

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Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO, Armed Forces and the Industry for the successful flight trial of ABHYAS and said that development of this system will meet the requirements of aerial targets for the Armed Forces.

Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of the teams associated in the design, development and testing of the system.

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