The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted a flight trial of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator, which was an indigenous high-speed flying-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka. The demonstration of this autonomous stealth UAV was a testament to the maturity of the technology readiness levels in the country. With this successful flight in the tailless configuration, India joined the elite club of countries that had mastered controls for the flying wing technology.

The aircraft prototype had a complex arrowhead wing platform and was designed and manufactured with lightweight carbon composite material developed locally. The composite structure, impregnated with fiber interrogators for health monitoring, was a showcase of ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in aerospace technology. The autonomous landing of this high-speed UAV, without the need for ground radars, infrastructure, or a pilot, showcased a unique capability demonstration that allowed take-off and landing from any runway with surveyed coordinates.

This was made possible using onboard sensor data fusion with indigenous satellite-based augmentation using GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) receivers. This improved the accuracy and integrity of GPS navigation, making it a remarkable feat.


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