The Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently achieved a significant milestone with the successful completion of four flight trials of the High-Speed Expendable Aerial Target-ABHYAS. Conducted between January 30th and February 2nd, 2024, at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, these trials mark a notable advancement in India’s defense capabilities.

ABHYAS, meticulously designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment of DRDO, represents a cutting-edge innovation in aerial target systems. The project showcases India’s prowess in indigenous defense technology, aligning with the nation’s strategic objectives of self-reliance and technological advancement.

One of the key highlights of these trials is the utilization of a revised and robust configuration, featuring a single booster. This configuration not only enhances the efficiency and reliability of ABHYAS but also underscores DRDO’s commitment to continuous improvement and innovation in defense systems.

The air vehicle’s launch mechanism is particularly noteworthy, as it utilizes twin under-slung boosters to provide initial acceleration. This innovative approach ensures optimal performance and trajectory control during the crucial early stages of flight. Powered by a compact gas turbine engine, 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 a state-of-the-art Micro-Electromechanical Systems-based Inertial Navigation System, 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, ensuring optimal performance under diverse operational conditions.

Safety and reliability are paramount in aerial missions, especially during low-altitude flights. ABHYAS addresses these concerns through the integration of an Indigenous Radio Altimeter, facilitating safe operations at very low altitudes. Moreover, encrypted Data Link communication between the Ground Control Station and the Target Aircraft ensures secure and seamless command and control throughout the mission duration.

A notable feature of ABHYAS is its fully autonomous flight capability. Programmed with advanced algorithms and decision-making logic, the vehicle operates independently, executing predefined mission profiles with precision and reliability. This autonomous functionality enhances operational flexibility and reduces the cognitive load on ground operators, enabling efficient utilization of resources during mission execution.