The Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator has been successfully conducted by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO. The conduct was being operated in fully autonomous mode. The demonstration started from the Aeronautical Test Range, Chitradurga, Karnataka.
It is mentioned that the operation is “Operating in a fully autonomous mode, the aircraft exhibits a perfect flight that consists of take-off, waypoint navigation, and a smooth touchdown. This flight marks a major milestone in terms of proving critical technologies for the development of future unmanned aircraft and is a significant step towards self-reliance in such strategic defense technologies.”
Aeronautical Development Establishment is a premier research laboratory of DRDO. The undercarriage, entire flight control, airframe, and avionics systems used in the aircraft were manufactured indigenously.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh greeted and mentioned that this would pace the country’s self-reliance in critical military systems. It is a big achievement towards autonomous aircraft and will pave the way for ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ in terms of critical military systems.“
Drones are considered mini pilotless aircraft directed by remote control and can be accessed through simple devices like smartphone applications. Drones consume less effort, time, and energy and can reach far and difficult terrains remotely.
The Autonomous Unmanned Research Aircraft (AURA) is a self-defending, high-speed, reconnaissance UAV with a weapons firing capability.
Drones gathered people’s attention in 2010 when the DRDO acknowledged the existence of the “Indian Unmanned Strike Aircraft” (IUSA). The Kaveri engine, developed by the DRDO’s Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), powers the AURA. The Kaveri came into existence for powering the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) but was incapable of developing the power needed for a supersonic fighter aircraft.
Instead of this, the non-stealth armed drones, like the US-built Reaper and Predator, have taken a heavy toll on terrorist lives. It was expected that the Indian Air Force would necessarily require stealth drones, including the UCAV, to survive in highly contested air environments, such as over Pakistan.