Thursday, June 13, 2024

DRDO’s Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator Successfully Completes Flying Trial

By Staff Correspondent

From Karnataka’s Aeronautical Test Range, Chitradurga, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has flown an indigenous high-speed flying-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator. This autonomous stealth UAV’s successful flight demonstration attests to the country’s advanced technological preparedness. With this flight in the tailless form, India became one of the few countries to have fully mastered the technology of flying wings.

The Aeronautical Development Establishment at DRDO is responsible for the design and development of this UAV. Using two prototypes built in-house, this aircraft had six flight trials in different developmental configurations after its initial flight demonstration in July 2022. A state-of-the-art Ground Control Station, integrated real-time and hardware-in-loop simulation, and a strong aerodynamic and control system were all products of these flight tests. In preparation for the seventh and last flight in the final configuration, the crew had fine-tuned the avionics, integration, and flight operations.

Using locally produced, lightweight carbon prepreg composite material, the aircraft prototype has an intricate arrowhead wing platform. Another example of “Aatmanirbharta” in aircraft technology is the composite structure that is infused with fibre interrogators for health monitoring. This high-speed UAV demonstrated a unique capability by landing autonomously on any runway using measured coordinates, eliminating the requirement for ground radars, infrastructure, and a pilot. The use of GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) receivers, which combine data from onboard sensors with data from indigenous satellites, allowed for this to happen.

 In view of the system’s successful flight testing, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has commended the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Armed Forces, and the industry. He said that the military would be much more powerful when the domestic development of these vital technologies is complete.

Dr. Samir V. Kamat, chairman of the DRDO and secretary of the Department of Defence Research and Development, extended his congratulations to the organization and all of the teams involved in the successful flight experiment.

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