In development since 2012, the Abhyas was tested Monday at the Interim Test Range in Odisha state, New Delhi TV reported.
"The flight test was tracked by various radars & electro optic systems and proved its performance in fully autonomous way point navigation mode," DRDO said. "The performance of the system was as per simulations carried out and demonstrated the capability of Abhyas to meet the mission requirement for a cost effective HEAT."
DRDO conducted successful flight test of ABHYAS — High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) drone yesterday. pic.twitter.com/qQSIj4yQu1— Strategic Frontier (@strategic_front) May 14, 2019
Abhyas is powered by a small gas turbine engine and guided by an indigenously developed microelectromechanical systems-based (MEMS) navigation system, according to a DRDO press release. Judging by photos released to the press, the drone is launched from a specialized catapult and doesn't utilize airfields.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (#DRDO) today conducted successful flight test of #ABHYAS — High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) from ITR, Chandipur. #Congratulation @DRDO_India pic.twitter.com/T5rxQl9Zm9— Sanket Pote (@sanketpote1) May 13, 2019
"In addition to being a stable vehicle for weapon practice, Abhyas can be used as an effective jammer platform," P.S. Krishnan, director of DRDO's Aeronautical Development Establishment, told the New Indian Express in 2013, shortly after the program was launched. "Every bit of onboard systems come for Indian industries, which makes Project Abhyas special in many ways."