In a major success towards developing unmanned combat aircraft, the maiden flight of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator was carried out successfully from the Aeronautical Test Range, Chitradurga, Karnataka today (1-Jul-2022) said DRDO officials.

"Operating in a fully autonomous mode, the aircraft exhibited a perfect flight, including 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 defence technologies," read an official statement.

Powered by a small turbofan engine, the unmanned aerial vehicle is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bangalore, a premier research laboratory of DRDO.

The airframe, undercarriage and entire flight control and avionics systems used for the aircraft had been developed indigenously.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and stated that the move will pace the country's self-reliance in terms of critical military systems.

"It is a major achievement towards autonomous aircraft and will pave the way for 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' in terms of critical military systems," said Singh.

Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy appreciated the efforts of the teams associated in the design, development and testing of the system.