The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday successfully flight-tested Lakshya, a pilotless target aircraft (PTA) from the launching complex-II of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea here.
Defence sources said the micro-light aircraft fitted with an advanced digital engine controlled by a remote was test flown at about 12.25 pm from the launching complex-II. It was second trial in a week.
A couple of days ago, a similar trial was conducted from the same test range. A defence official said the test was successful as several developments made in the digital version of the unmanned aircraft were validated. “Lakshya, which has already been inducted in the IAF in 2000, is required for evaluation and development trials of surface-to-air and air-to-air weapon systems,” he said.
Earlier, both the sea and land recovery version of the PTA were test flown successfully several times. The aircraft flew for over 30 minutes during which all the parameters were tested, the defence official informed adding another round of trial may be carried out shortly.
Usually, the flight duration of the six feet long unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is 30 to 35 minutes in air, where after making three to four laps it drops in the ocean. It is later retrieved by a helicopter.
Defence sources added that the test was carried out to check the validity of its engine and duration enhancement. The PTA, a sub-sonic and re-usable aerial target system is remote controlled from the ground and designed to impart training to both air-borne and air-defence pilots.