Abhyas, a high-speed expendable aerial target, is successfully tested by India

India on Wednesday successfully tested the indigenously-designed Abhyas – a High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) – in Odisha.

The trial was carried out by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Odisha’s Chandipur.

The aircraft is programmed for a fully autonomous flight, meaning that it flies under the control of automatic systems and needs no intervention from a human pilot.

During the test flight, the aircraft was flown from a ground-based controller to examine its manoeuvrability and performance at low altitudes. The air vehicle was launched using twin under-slung boosters during the demonstration, which provided initial acceleration. It is powered by a small gas turbine engine for endurance flights at high subsonic speed.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO and the Indian armed forces for the successful trial and said that the development of this system woud meet the requirements of aerial targets for the armed forces, a press release stated.

A day earlier, the defence research body and the Army also successfully tested an indigenously-developed anti-tank guided missile in Maharashtra.

“In the test, the ATGM hit the bull’s eye with textbook precision and successfully defeated the target at minimum ranges. Telemetry systems recorded the satisfactory flight performance of the missile,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

India also test-fired the Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) in Chandipur last week. The VL-SRSAM is a ship-borne weapon system meant for neutralising various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.