The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Bangalorebased Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) on Thursday flight-tested a pilot-less Target Aircraft (PTA), Lakshya-1 from the integrated test range (ITR) off the Odisha coast.
A defence official said the micro-light aircraft fitted with an advanced digital engine remote controlled was test flown at around 12.15 pm from the launching complex- II. It was the second trial in a week.
“We tested several developments in the digital version of the unmanned aircraft. Lakshya, which was 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 versions of the PTA have been test flown successfully on several occasions. The aircraft flew over 30 minutes during which all parameters were tested, the official announced, adding that another round of trial may be carried out shortly.
Usually, the flight duration of the six-foot-long unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is 30 to 35 minutes. After three or four laps, it drops into the ocean. It is later retrieved by a helicopter.
Defence sources said, 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 airborne and air defence pilots.