DRDO successfully carries out maiden flight of unmanned fighter aircraft

DRDO successfully carries out maiden flight of unmanned fighter aircraft
The Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator (twitter.com/rajnathsingh)

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully carried out the inaugural flight of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator, it announced in a statement on Friday. The exercise, DRDO said in its statement, was carried out at the Aeronautical Test Range, Chitradurga, Karnataka today.

Giving more details on the flight, the release further said, “Operating in a fully autonomous mode, the aircraft exhibited a perfect flight, including take-off, waypoint navigation and a smooth touchdown. This flight marks a major milestone in proving critical technologies towards the development of future unmanned aircraft and is a significant step towards self-reliance in such strategic defence technologies.”

Designed and developed by the Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a premier research laboratory under the DRDO, the unmanned fighter aircraft is powered by a small, turbofan engine, the New Delhi-headquartered agency noted further.

The vehicle's airframe, as well as its undercarriage, flight controls and avionics system, were developed indigenously, it added.

Meanwhile, congratulating DRDO, defence minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Congratulations to @DRDO_India on the successful maiden flight of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator from Chitradurga ATR. It is a major achievement toward autonomous aircraft which will pave the way for Aatmanirbhar Bharat in terms of critical military systems.