Aeronautical Development Establishment successfully conducted the flight test of Lakshya-2 the Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA), specifically built to meet the anticipated user requirements. In a press release, DRDO said: “The users have indicated their requirement of flying the pilotless target aircraft at very low altitudes (15 to 25 metres above sea level) to simulating trajectory of low-level cruise missiles. Accordingly ADE prepared Lakshya-2 with necessary hardware and software for meeting the user requirements. The flight test was of 32 minutes duration on December 20, controlled by Ground Control Station and the low altitude flight was proved over 10km range. The flight was stable and well controlled. Mobile launcher to launch the PTA from anywhere and GPS to locate for recovery were used successfully.
In another development, a contract for preliminary design of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) was signed between India and Russia on December 21. The contract signed today is only the first in a series of such contracts which will cover different stages of this complex programme. The total cost including options and the value of production aircraft will make this the biggest defence programme ever in the history of India involving production of over 200-250 aircraft. The contract was signed by A. Isaykin, General Director, Rosoboronexport and Mr. M. Pogosyan, General Director RAC MiG & Sukhoi from the Russian side and N.C. Agarwal, Director (D&D), Hindustan Aeronautics, and his team from Indian side.