India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted a flight test of a locally developed missile target vehicle called Abhyas.

The trial was conducted at the Interim Test Range, Balasore, in the state of Odisha where two demonstrator vehicles were test flown.

Abhyas is designed and developed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) as a High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) system. The vehicle can be used as a target to assess the effectiveness of various missile systems.

The vehicle is powered by a small gas turbine engine and leverages MEMS-based inertial navigation system (INS) to navigate and the flight control computer (FCC) for guidance and control.

Launched using twin underslung booster, the air vehicle is programmed for complete autonomous flight.

In a statement, Indian Ministry of Defence said: “During the test campaign, the user requirement of 5km flying altitude, vehicle speed of 0.5 Mach, endurance of 30 minutes and 2G turn capability of the test vehicle were successfully achieved.”

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According to a report published in The Indian Express, this was the second flight test of the missile target vehicle, the first of which was conducted in May last year.

Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also lauded the testing and termed it as a ‘milestone’.

DRDO is a government agency tasked with military research and development. Last month, the agency identified 108 systems and subsystems for design and development as part of the government’s efforts to become self-reliant.