Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has launched the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator (AFWTD) for the first time. The test was done at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka. This aircraft, which looked like America’s B-2 bomber, was fully automatic. It took off on its own, and did point navigation and landing with ease.
This flight is a major achievement in terms of proving important technologies for the development of future unmanned aircraft. This is also a big step for the defense of the country. It has been made by the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). It flies with a small turbofan engine. The airframe, undercarriage, and entire flight control and avionics systems used for the aircraft are indigenous. Congratulating DRDO, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that this is a big achievement in the direction of autonomous aircraft. This will also pave the way for a ‘self-reliant India’ in the form of important military systems.
Unmanned aircraft ie UAVs are an integral part of the battles of the 21st century. Their use has increased in the last ten years. UAVs gained recognition during last year’s Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, in which drones completely dominated the battlefield. Terrorists are also getting access to UAVs i.e. drone technology. They attack and kill people, and cause damage. You must have heard and read about the drones sent from Pakistan and their attacks.
Last year, the Indian Army Chief had told how serious the threat of a drone strike was. Along with this, the need to strengthen India’s UAV drone fleet was emphasized. Indigenous efforts are underway to make effective combat drones in the country. The test conducted in Chitradurga is a big step in this effort. This means that the Indian Army will start monitoring the borders with the help of indigenous stealth drones in three-four years. Will be able to attack terrorist bases.
India is a decade behind Pakistan and China in terms of drones and UAVs. Pakistan and China are helping each other to develop and acquire many weapons, including combat drones. That’s why India has made the mysterious ‘Stealth Drone Ghatak’. Its picture was revealed only last year. Some tests were also done. Stealth Wing Flying Tested (SWiFT) was being done but its information was kept a complete secret.
A deck-based fighter UAV variant is also being explored for induction into the Indian Navy. Between the years 2025 to 2026, the prototype of the stealth drone fatal may come to the public. Last year itself, the Indian Army successfully demonstrated swarm drone technology with 75 combat drones. That is, India is capable of attacking through drones.
DRDO scientists have not given any information about its size, weight, range, etc. But it is believed that it can go up to a height of 30 thousand feet. Its weight is less than 15 tons. Missiles, bombs, and precision-guided weapons can be fired from this drone. It is powered by the indigenous Kaveri engine. This 52-kilonewton power gets to the aircraft. The prototype currently in existence is 4 meters in length. The wingspan is 5 meters. It can receive commands from the ground up to a range of 200 km. Can fly for an hour now.