DRDO successfully test-fired the precursor of the futuristic combat drone in Karnataka’s Chitradurga
Calling it a major milestone in the development of unmanned aircraft, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on Friday conducted the first flight test of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka.
#DRDO successfully test-fires futuristic combat drone in Chitradurga, Karnataka pic.twitter.com/lCF6YsOVJM
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) July 1, 2022
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and termed it as a major achievement towards autonomous aircraft, saying it would pave the way for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in terms of critical military systems.
Congratulations to @DRDO_India on the first successful flight of Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator from Chitradurga ATR.
This is a major achievement in the direction of autonomous aircraft which will pave the way for a self-reliant India in terms of critical military systems. pic.twitter.com/pQ4wAhA2ax
— rajnath singh (@rajnathsingh) July 1, 2022
DRDO scientists have said that this test is a major milestone in their efforts towards developing an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) or combat drone which is of the flying wing type.
Flying wing type aircraft refers to a tailless fixed-wing aircraft, which carries its payload and fuel into its main wings and does not have the defined fuselage-like structure in conventional aircraft. Scientists say the design has the potential to provide high fuel efficiency and stability, if executed with precision, as demonstrated by some advanced bombers in the United States.
Sources said the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator is a precursor to the autonomous UCAV being developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of DRDO primarily for the Indian Air Force. A deck launch version is also said to be in the pipeline for the Indian Navy. The UCAV will be capable of launching missiles and precision-guided weapons.
“Operating in a fully autonomous mode, the aircraft demonstrated a perfect flight performance, including take-off, way point navigation and an easy touchdown. This flight will provide critical technologies towards the development of future unmanned aircraft.” This is a major milestone in proving this and an important step towards self-reliance in such strategic defense technologies.” A statement from the Ministry of Defense said. The vehicle has been designed and developed by Bengaluru-based ADE.
The vehicle is powered by a small turbofan engine. The airframe, undercarriage and the entire flight control and avionics systems used for the aircraft are indigenously developed.
Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Chairman, DRDO appreciated the efforts of the teams involved in the design, development and testing of the system.