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High speed aerial target Abhyas successfully flight-tested

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The flight trial of High speed Expendable Aerial Target Abhyas from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur off the coast of Odisha (Image courtesy: Twitter/@SpokespersonMoD)

Abhyas – a High speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) - was successfully flight-tested from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha, earlier today.

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.

Abhyas, designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), 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, 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 G Satheesh Reddy also appreciated the efforts of the teams associated in the design, development and testing of the system. 

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