A high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT) vehicle was successfully flight-tested from the integrated test range in Chandipur off the coast of Odisha on Wednesday. The performance of air vehicle ABHYAS, used as an aerial target for evaluation of missile systems by armed forces at low altitude, including sustained level and high manoeuvrability was demonstrated during the test flight, said the defence ministry.

The target aircraft, designed & developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO),was launched using twin under-slung boosters to provide the initial acceleration to the vehicle, said the ministry. It was flown from a ground-based controller in a pre-designated low altitude flight path, monitored by various tracking sensors deployed by ITR, including radar and electro-optical targeting system, said the defence ministry.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, armed forces and the industry for the successful flight trial of ABHYAS, and stated the development of this system will meet the requirements of the armed forces.

It is powered by a small gas turbine engine to sustain a long endurance flight at a high subsonic speed. . The vehicle is programmed for a fully autonomous flight.

ABHYAS take off comes a day after the DRDO and Army had successfully tested indigenously anti-tank guided missile fired from Arjun battle tank at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra.

“With the trial, the ATGM’s capability to engage targets from minimum to maximum range has been established. Earlier the trials have been successful for maximum range,” the ministry had stated

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