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Successful Flight Trial of Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator for India’s Stealth Combat Drone Ghatak

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has achieved a significant breakthrough with the successful flight trial of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator. This cutting-edge technology is a crucial component of India’s covert stealth combat drone project, codenamed Ghatak. The Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Chitradurga, Karnataka, witnessed this remarkable feat, positioning India among the elite nations mastering the controls for the Flying Wing configuration.

Developed by ADE under DRDO

The Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), operating under the DRDO, spearheaded the engineering and realization of this high-speed flying wing UAV. Its maiden flight took place in July 2022, marking the commencement of a series of successful flight trials. The technology demonstrator has undergone six trials to date, showcasing its capabilities in diverse developmental configurations, utilizing two in-house produced prototypes.

Innovative Design and Materials

The prototype aircraft boasts an intricate arrowhead wing design and is constructed using lightweight carbon prepreg composite material developed domestically. This showcases India’s commitment to self-reliance in Aerospace technology. The composite structure incorporates fiber interrogators for health monitoring, underlining the system’s robustness and reliability.

Autonomous Landing Capability

One of the standout features of this UAV is its ability to autonomously land without relying on ground radars, infrastructure, or a pilot. This technological prowess is a testament to India’s advancements in unmanned aerial systems, providing a strategic edge in various operational scenarios.

GPS Navigation Precision

The high-speed UAV demonstrates remarkable versatility by being able to take off and land from any runway with surveyed coordinates. This is achieved through the fusion of onboard sensor data with indigenous satellite-based augmentation, utilizing GAGAN receivers. This integration significantly enhances the accuracy and integrity of GPS navigation, further establishing India’s prowess in aerospace technology.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q: What recent achievement has DRDO made in the field of unmanned aerial systems?

A: DRDO has successfully conducted flight trials of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator for India’s stealth drone Ghatak.

Q: Who developed the technology demonstrator, and what sets it apart?

A: The Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) under DRDO engineered the prototype, featuring an arrowhead wing design and autonomous landing capability.

Q: How does the UAV ensure precision in take-off and landing?

A: The high-speed UAV integrates onboard sensor data with GAGAN receivers for indigenous satellite-based augmentation, enhancing GPS navigation accuracy.

Q: What materials were used in constructing the prototype, emphasizing India’s self-reliance?

A: The prototype is constructed with lightweight carbon prepreg composite material, showcasing India’s commitment to self-sufficiency in aerospace technology.

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