From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator
Mains level : India's defence exports, Atmanirbharta in defence
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully carried out the maiden test flight of a new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), an autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator, from the Aeronautical Test Range, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
About the Indigenous Drone
- The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is powered by a small turbofan engine.
- It is developed under unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) programme.
- It is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bengaluru, a premier research laboratory of DRDO.
- The engine is Russian TRDD-50MT originally designed for cruise missiles.
- A small turbo fan engine is being developed indigenously for meeting the requirement.
Various initiatives by DRDO
- DRDO is in the process of developing UAVs of different classes to met the requirements of the armed forces.
- Rustom-2, the indigenous Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV under development, had crossed a milestone by reaching an altitude of 25,000 feet and an endurance of 10 hours.
- It is now being designed to reach an altitude of 30,000 feet and 18 hours endurance.
- An Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle is also on the drawing board.
Significance of the development
- Operating in a fully autonomous mode, the aircraft exhibited a perfect flight, including take-off, way point navigation and a smooth touchdown.
- This flight marks a major milestone in terms of proving critical technologies towards the development of future unmanned aircraft.
- This is a significant step towards self-reliance in strategic defence technologies.