India on Tuesday successfully conducted the flight test of ABHYAS – High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) vehicles from a test range in Odisha, defence sources said.

The trial, carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here, was tracked by various radars and electro-optic systems, the sources said.

Congratulating DRDO on its achievement, defence minister Rajnath Singh said ABHYAS can be used as a target for evaluation of missile systems.

“The DRDO achieved a milestone today with the successful flight test of ABHYAS – High Speed Expandable Aerial Target from ITR Balasore. This can be used as a target for evaluation of various Missile systems. Congratulations to @DRDO_India & other stakeholders for this achievement,” he tweeted.

During the trial on Tuesday, two demonstrator vehicles were successfully test-flown, DRDO sources said.

ABHYAS has been designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of the DRDO.

The air vehicle is launched using twin underslung boosters. It is powered by a small gas turbine engine and has an Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with a Flight Control Computer (FCC) for guidance and control.

The vehicle has been programmed for fully autonomous flight. The check out of the vehicle is done using laptop- based Ground Control Station (GCS), a defence statement said.

During the test campaign, the user requirement of 5 km flying altitude, vehicle speed of 0.5 mach, endurance of 30 minutes and 2g turn capability of the test vehicle were successfully achieved, it said.

“It proved its performance in a fully autonomous waypoint navigation mode,” a DRDO source added.