Pilotless target aircraft Lakshya-II successfully tested

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) India's indigenous Lakshya-II pilotless target aircraft has been tested successfully off a test range in Balasore, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has said.

Flying at a sea-skimming height of about 15 metres at the DRDO test range near Balasore, about 200 km from here, Lakshya-II, an advanced version of the pilotless target aircraft, demonstrated its full capability during tests, a defence ministry release said.

In a flight lasting over 30 minutes, Laskhya-II was made to dive from an altitude of around 800 metres to just 12 metres and made to maintain the required altitude for a specified time, before demonstrating auto climb-out, the release said.

'The entire flight was pre-programmed and was totally successful. It demonstrated various technologies and sub-systems including software correction to auto rudder scheme done to prevent loss of mission, engaging and flying in way point navigation mode while carrying two tow targets,' the release said.

During the flight, one of the tow targets was released and the other was deployed while way-point navigation was on.

This was the 10th flight of Lakshya-II and the first time that demonstrated the full capability, achieving all the user's objectives.

Lakshya-II has been designed and developed by the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a premier DRDO lab specialising in UAVs and flight control systems

ADE also conducted the flight trials of micro and mini air vehicles -- Black Kite, Golden Hawk and Pushpak -- at Hoskote near Bangalore.

The three micro air vehicles measure 300 to 450 millimetre in length, and weigh between 300 grams to 500 grams, with an endurance of 30 minutes, while carrying a miniature daylight video camera.

Two more mini unmanned aerial vehicles -- Imperial Eagle and Sly Bird -- weighing under two kg and carrying either a daylight camera or thermal/night vision camera as payload were also tested.

The compact vehicles are built as shoulder transported equipment for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The fully autonomous vehicles are capable of transmitting and relaying images to a ground tracker system using an on-board camera irrespective of the aircraft's altitude.

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