Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence: EXPRESS EXCLUSIVE: DRDO developing high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT) drone Abhyas | Younger brother of Lakshya, ADE plans 15 TDs of Abhyas in next 2 years

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

EXPRESS EXCLUSIVE: DRDO developing high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT) drone Abhyas | Younger brother of Lakshya, ADE plans 15 TDs of Abhyas in next 2 years


The above combo of photos were taken during the proof-of-the-concept experimental test flight of Abhyas, a high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT) drone, held at DRDO's Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) range in Chitradurga last year. 
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: Abhyas, a high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT) drone, is taking definite shape at the hangars of Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). The scientists are now working on the propulsion and control systems to be fitted onboard Abyas, taking the project closer to it's final configuration. Kept under wraps till Aero India-2013, Abhyas is tipped as the younger brother of Lakshya, a pilot-less target aircraft (PTA), now being extensively used by the three wings of Services.
In an interview to Express, ADE director P S Krishnan confirmed that Abhyas has already undergone a proof of the concept, pre-project trial at the Defence Research and Development Organisation's new test-range in Chitradurga. “The first experimental launch (minus the engine) of Abhyas was held last year at the Chitradurga range. It was the first ground-based trial held at the new range. We are now working on a small gas turbine engine weighing 9 kg having a thrust of 25 kg to be fitted on to Abhyas,” Krishnan said. (Corrected on blog: Earlier I had said 19 kg in place of 9 kg.)
He said in order to put the project on a fast-track, ADE scientists have used the the same toe-body of Lakshya. “We have sized the wings and tail plane in proportionate to that of Lakshya so that we are able to get the final product at the earliest. We have conceived a launcher and also identified two 68-mm rockets for Abhyas. The first experimental flight successfully demonstrated the launch and configuration capabilities,” Krishnan said.
With an endurance of 25-30 minutes, Abhyas will be fitted with sensors and is GPS-enabled. It will have onboard actuators, a flight control computer and a miss-distance indicator. The project was sanctioned with an initial DRDO funding of Rs 15 crore and ADE will roll out 15 Abhyas technology demonstrators (TDs) in the next two years.
The Services have floated a combined global tender projecting the requirement of 225 HEAT drones and ADE says it will not be bidding for the same. The Indian Navy wants HEAT platforms so that it can do away with the post-launch recovery modes, which are time-consuming and difficult in a huge scenario like the sea. “In addition to being a stable vehicle for weapon practice, Abhyas can be used as an effective jammer platform. Every bit of onboard systems come for Indian industries, which makes Project Abhyas special in many ways. ,” Krishnan said.
He said ADE is confident of getting Abyas straight away on to the production mode, once the TDs are accepted by the Services. Around 50 scientists are working on Project Abhyas at ADE now. In the HEAT vehicle category, the Mirach integrated aerial variants from Italy are said to be the best in the business now, and only time will tell whether India's Abhya will better its might.
Copyright@The New Indian Express

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