DRDO Conducts Successful Flight Trials of High-speed Expendable Aerial Target ‘ABHYAS’ from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur

The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) announced the successful execution of four flight trials of the High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) – ABHYAS, conducted from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur in Odisha. These trials carried out between January 30th and February 2nd, 2024, marked a significant milestone in the development of ABHYAS, with each trial focusing on distinct mission objectives within a revised and robust configuration utilizing a single booster crafted by the Advanced Systems Laboratory, Hyderabad. This revised setup aimed at delivering reduced launch acceleration while achieving critical objectives such as safe booster release, launcher clearance, and reaching the necessary end of launch velocity.


The flight trials demonstrated successful validation of various parameters including endurance, speed, manoeuvrability, altitude, and range, showcasing the efficiency and reliability of ABHYAS. Designed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), ABHYAS presents a realistic threat scenario for the practice of weapon systems, leveraging an indigenous autopilot system developed by ADE for autonomous flight. Equipped with Radar Cross Section, Visual, and Infrared augmentation systems crucial for weapon practice, ABHYAS also features a laptop-based Ground Control System facilitating seamless integration, pre-flight checks, in-flight data recording, post-flight analysis, and replay functionalities.


Highlighting its minimal logistical requirements and cost-effectiveness compared to imported alternatives, ABHYAS stands ready for production with the involvement of Production Agencies such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Defence. With identified production agencies in place, ABHYAS holds export potential and can be extended to friendly nations.


The Defence Minister extended his congratulations to DRDO, the Armed Forces, and the Industry for the successful ABHYAS flight trials, emphasizing its significance in meeting the aerial target requirements of the Armed Forces.


Secretary, Department of Defence R&D, and Chairman DRDO, Dr Samir V Kamat, commended the collaborative efforts of the teams involved in designing, developing, and testing ABHYAS, underscoring its contribution towards enhancing India’s defence capabilities.


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