The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently achieved a significant milestone with the completion of the four flight trials of the High-Speed Expendable Aerial Target-ABHYAS. Conducted between January 30, 2024 and February 2, 2024 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, these trials mark a notable advancement in India’s defence capabilities.
ABHYAS, meticulously designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the DRDO, represents a cutting-edge innovation in aerial target systems. The project showcases India’s prowess in indigenous defence technology aligning with the nation’s strategic objectives of self-reliance and technological advancement.
One of the key highlights of these trials is the utilisation of a revised and robust configuration, featuring a single booster. This configuration not only enhances the efficiency and reliability of the ABHYAS bur also underscores DRDO’s commitment to continuous improvement and innovation in defence systems.
The air vehicle launch mechanism is particularly noteworthy as it utilises twin under slung booster to provide initial acceleration. This innovation approach ensures optimal performance and trajectory control during the crucial early stage of flight. Powered by a compact gas turbine, ABHYAS demonstrates remarkable endurance and sustains high subsonic speeds throughout its flight profile.
Navigation and guidance are critical aspects of any aerial target system and ABHYAS excels in these domains. Equipped with the state-of-the-art Micro-Electromechanical Systems based Inertial Navigation Systems, the vehicle ensures precise navigation capabilities, essential for achieving mission objectives with pinpoint accuracy. Additionally, the Flight Control Computer plays a pivotal role in real time guidance and control which results in optimal performance under diverse operational conditions.
Safety and reliability are paramount in aerial missions, especially during low altitude flights, ABHYAS addresses these concerns through an integration of an Indigenous Radio Altimeter facilitating safe operations at very low altitudes. Moreover, the encrypted data link communication between Ground Control Station and Target Aircraft ensures secure and seamless command and control during the mission duration.
A notable feature of the ABHYAS is its fully autonomous flight capability. Programmed with advanced algorithms and decision-making logic, the vehicle operated independently executing pre-defined mission profiles with precision and reliability. This autonomous functionality enhances operational flexibility and reduces cognitive load on ground operators, enabling efficient utilisation of resources during mission execution.