On September 22, the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation successfully carried out a flight test of ‘Abhyas’, a High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) vehicle. It is confirmed by the country’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on his twitter handle.
“The DRDO achieved a milestone today with the successful flight test of ABHYAS – High Speed Expandable Aerial Target from ITR Balasore.”, he said.
ABHYAS is a successor of the DRDO Lakshya target drone, sharing a similar fuselage. Its agility can be effectively utilized to simulate a variety of aircraft for air defense weapon practices like Surafe to air missile, air-to-air missile, and Anti-aircraft artillery.
It can also be used as a decoy vehicle. During combat, it can be used to trick the enemy and provide a safe route to strike aircraft. As an autonomous vehicle, it can also be used for kamikaze bombing. With a swarm, it may able to precisely damage a strategic location of hostiles and reduces the risk of friendly human loss, experts suggest.
The propulsion system consists of two 68 mm booster rockets, that jettison at the end of the launch phase. Thereafter, the main gas-turbine engine powers the vehicle during cruise phase. It is also equipped with a GPS guidance system, an onboard flight control computer, and a miss-distance indicator. It is also designed for autonomous flight with the help of an autopilot.
With the success of flight tests, Abhyas comes close to induction in the Indian military. Many countries around the world, including the USA, operate a wide range and quantity of target drones to test their latest weapon systems. With Abhyas, the Indian Air Force can also sharpen their air combat skills even in peacetime.
Penned by Rishav Kumar