Home / Global / India’s unmanned flying wing technology demonstrator takes off

India’s unmanned flying wing technology demonstrator takes off

India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully conducted a flight test of autonomous steering wheel technology demonstratoran unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) low radar signature and high speedfrom the Chitradurga Aeronautical Testing Range in Karnataka.

The success of the flight demonstration of this autonomous stealth UAV, India joins the select club of countries that have mastered the management of flying wing technology.

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Although this is the first time it has been published, the maiden flight of this aircraft took place in July 2022, followed by six flight tests in various development configurations using two self-made prototypes. These flight tests allowed the development of a solid aerodynamic and control system, an integrated real-time simulation, real-time testing of each hardware element and an advanced control station on the ground. The team had optimized avionics systems, integration and flight operations to succeed seventh flight in final configuration.

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The unmanned aircraft prototype is Designed and manufactured from lightweight carbon prepreg composite material developed in India. Moreover, the composite structure, infused with fiber interrogators to monitor its condition, is an example of “Aatmanirbharta” (translated as “Self-sufficient India”) in aerospace technology.

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The autonomous landing of this high-speed UAV, without the need for ground radars/infrastructure/pilot, was a demonstration of unique capability that allows take off and land from any runway with surveyed coordinates. This was possible thanks to fusion of data from onboard sensors with satellite-based augmentation natives use GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) receivers to improve the accuracy and integrity of GPS navigation.

This ability to truly autonomous take-off and landing allows us to appreciate the degree of technological advancement achieved by the Indian defense industry in pillars such as artificial intelligence algorithms, integration of sensor information and navigation systems, surpasses several Eastern and Western competitors who continue to use remote human control to ensure safe take-off and landing of their drones.

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