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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed Advanced Pilotless Target Aircraft, known as Lakshya-2. This advanced version of Lakshya-1 boasts a range of capabilities that extend beyond traditional target drones. Among its notable features is its potential use as a low-cost unmanned armed drone capable of carrying weapons.

Lakshya-2 is designed to serve as a target for various weapon systems, including radar-guided and heat-seeking Surface-to-Air missiles, as well as Air-to-Air missiles. One of its key functions is to accurately calculate the miss distance of these weapons, providing valuable data for weapon system evaluation.

The enhanced Lakshya-2 offers several advanced capabilities:

  1. Endurance: It boasts extended endurance, allowing for longer missions and increased versatility.
  2. Autonomous Flight: Lakshya-2 can operate autonomously, reducing the need for constant human intervention during missions.
  3. Low-Level Flight: Its ability to fly at low altitudes makes it suitable for a range of mission profiles, including terrain-hugging and evasive maneuvers.
  4. Salvo Flying: Lakshya-2 can execute salvo flying, which involves multiple drones operating together to simulate more complex scenarios.
  5. Automated Test Equipment: It is equipped with automated test equipment, streamlining maintenance and diagnostics.
  6. Digital Flight Control: The integrated digital flight control processor ensures precise control and stability during flight.
  7. Repeater System: Lakshya-2 has an active repeater system that enhances communication capabilities for firing Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles.
  8. Dual Air Vehicle Operation: It can simultaneously operate two air vehicles from a single Ground Control Station (GCS).

Additionally, DRDO has transferred the technology for Lakshya-2 to L&T, furthering indigenous production capabilities.

Lakshya-2 also introduces a Weapon Delivery Configuration, allowing it to drop weapons accurately at known coordinates. The tow bodies of this configuration can carry high-energy weapon payloads. Using Continuously Computed Release Points (CCRP), it can achieve ballistic, unguided weapon deliveries. Notably, Lakshya-2 has already completed nine weapon delivery sorties, including the release of 16 weapons, with four of them being live.

With Lakshya-2, DRDO has expanded the capabilities of unmanned target aircraft, paving the way for cost-effective and versatile unmanned armed drones that can be deployed in various scenarios, including training and testing of weapon systems.

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