India on Wednesday successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT), ABHYAS, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur off the Odisha coast, as per a statement.
The performance of the aircraft at low altitude, including sustained level and high maneuverability, was demonstrated during the test flight, it said.
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 the ITR, including radar and an electro-optical targeting system, it added.
ABHYAS is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
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 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 said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and the armed forces for the successful flight trial of ABHYAS, and said that the development of this system will meet the requirements of aerial targets.
DRDO chairman G. Satheesh Reddy lauded the efforts of the teams associated with the design, development and testing of the system.