The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully carried out the inaugural flight of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator, it announced in a statement on Friday. The exercise, DRDO said in its statement, was carried out at the Aeronautical Test Range, Chitradurga, Karnataka today.
Giving more details on the flight, the release further said, “Operating in a fully autonomous mode, the aircraft exhibited a perfect flight, including take-off, way point navigation and a smooth touchdown. This flight marks a major milestone in terms of proving critical technologies towards the development of future unmanned aircraft and is significant step towards self-reliance in such strategic defence technologies.”
Designed and developed by the Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a premier research laboratory under the DRDO, the UAV is powered by a small, turbofan engine, the New Delhi-headquartered agency noted further.
The vehicle’s airframe, as well as its undercarriage, flight controls and avionics system, were developed indigenously, it added.
Meanwhile, congratulating DRDO, defence minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Congratulations to @DRDO_India on successful maiden flight of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator from Chitradurga ATR. It is a major achievement towards autonomous aircrafts which will pave the way for Aatmanirbhar Bharat in terms of critical military systems.”
Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Chairman, DRDO, and Secretary, Department of Defence R&D, too, appreciated the efforts of the teams involved in the design, development and testing of the system.