GS Paper - 3 (Defence Technology)

India on 22 October 2021 successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT), ABHYAS, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Bay of Bengal in Odisha. The vehicle can be used as an aerial target for evaluation of various missile systems.


  1. The performance of the target aircraft was monitored through telemetry and various tracking sensors including Radars and Electro Optical Tracking System (EOTS).
  2. The current test was carried out as a part of developmental flight trials. Expression of interest for production of the vehicle has already been floated for bidding by Indian companies.
  3. This indigenous target aircraft, once developed, will meet the requirements of High-speed Expendable Aerial Targets (HEAT) for Indian Armed Forces.
  4. ABHYAS is designed and developed by DRDO's Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bengaluru.
  5. The air vehicle was launched using twin under-slung boosters which provide the initial acceleration to the vehicle.
  6. It is powered by a gas turbine engine to sustain a long endurance flight at subsonic speed; the target aircraft is equipped with MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) based Inertial Navigation System (INS) for navigation along with the Flight Control Computer (FCC) for guidance and control.
  7. The vehicle is programmed for fully autonomous flight. The check-out of air vehicles is done using laptop-based Ground Control Station (GCS).