Defense Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) on 13th May successfully conducted the flight test of ABHYAS – High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) from an interim test range in Chandipur of Odisha, Defence sources said.
The trial, carried out by the DRDO at Chandipur in Balasore, was tracked by various radars and electro-optic systems. “It proved its performance in a fully autonomous waypoint navigation mode,” a DRDO press release noted.
The configuration of ABHYAS is designed on an in-line small gas turbine engine and it uses indigenously developed MEMS-based navigation system. The design of the target drone is inspired from the previous target drone of India named as “LAKSHYA” which is not so advanced and fully equipped as ABHYAS. For propulsion it is fitted with a gas-turbine engine, having a thrust of 25 kg, with an endurance of 30–45 minutes. ABHYAS is GPS-enabled, has an on-board flight control computer and a miss-distance indicator. It is also designed for autonomous flight with the help of an autopilot.
The ABHYAS has been in development since 2012 and has been displayed by the DRDO at international defence expositions since at least 2013. The ABHYAS was displayed in International Aerospace Defence Exhibition-2013 in Seoul, South Korea.
So, basically ABHYAS is a target drone which can be used in various military exercises: We can test all the foreign arms arsenal we bring and also all the indigenous arsenal on the target drone which will be launched into space. It is not a mere drone but it boasts variety of features such as sensors including acoustic missile distance indicators for DRDO scientist to gather information about the live-fire tests. In addition to being a stable vehicle for weapon practice, ABHYAS can also be used as an effective signal jammer. The jammers can neutralize the radar and computer circuits of enemy jet fighters and confuse them about their own location. This is one of the greatest milestones achieved by the Indian scientists and Ministry of Defence.
Now, India wants to become a defence exporter. Currently, we are the defence equipment importer but, it is estimated by the Secretary of Defence Production Ajay Kumar, that India will have defence export of at least Rs 10,000 crores by the end of 2019 and the invention of ABHYAS is a stepping stone into realizing that goal because many countries have shown tremendous amount of interest and affinity towards the ABHYAS project showcased at the international platforms.