Defence Sector – DPP, Missions, Schemes, Security Forces, etc.

DRDO tests Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator


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.


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