The maiden flight of a new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), an autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator, took off from the Aeronautical Test Range, Chitradurga, Karnataka. The flight which was successful was carried out by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Friday July 1, 2022.
Terming it as a significant step towards self-reliance in strategic defence technologies, an official statement issued by DRDO states, “the flight marks a major milestone in terms of proving critical technologies which are used towards the development of future unmanned aircraft.”
It demonstrated a perfect flight, while operating in a fully autonomous mode. The flight test also included take-off, way point navigation and smooth touchdown, said DRDO.
More about the UAV
It has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bengaluru, one of the research laboratories of DRDO.
This UAV according to the official statement is powered by a small turbofan engine. And the whole system is indigenous — the avionics systems, entire flight control system as well as airframe, undercarriage, all have been developed in India.
Taking to twitter, Defence minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO. He stated in his tweet that this significant breakthrough in autonomous aircraft. And will pave the way for Aatmanirbhar Bharat in terms of critical military systems.
DRDO & UAV
DRDO has showcased that it has indigenous capability to carry out offensive missions in enemy territory. This can be achieved with several drones working together in different formations to first identify, encircle and then strike targets. These targets can be hit by the loitering munitions which are currently being developed to meet the specific requirements of the Indian armed forces and to protect the troops on the ground.
DRDO and various labs under it along with private sector and start-ups are working on the technologies related to UAVs which are going to be used in various operations.
The focus is now on Atmanirbhar Bharat in defence and the government has urged the armed forces to buy the indigenous platforms and less imports. This year in the Union Budget, Rs 70,221 crore has been set aside for domestic defence procurement, and this accounts for 63 percent of the defence capital budget.