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Expecting a loud battlefield? Meet the stealth drone. The stealth drone, also referred to as an Unmanned Combat Airborne Vehicle (UCAV), has been designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), India. While stealth aircraft have tended to adopt the design referred to as a “flying wing”, this is a tailless, fixed-wing design that has no fuselage. Its crew, payload, fuel, and equipment are housed inside the main wing structure. It works by balancing its airflow and center of gravity so that no tail is needed. reports that the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has recently conducted a successful maiden flight of its “Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator” from an Aeronautical Test Range.

The DRDO announced in a press release that “Operating in a fully autonomous mode, the aircraft exhibited a perfect flight, including take-off, waypoint navigation and a smooth touchdown. The aircraft is powered by a small turbofan engine. The airframe, undercarriage and entire flight control and avionics systems used for the aircraft were developed indigenously. This flight marks a major milestone in terms of proving critical technologies towards the development of future unmanned aircraft and is a significant step towards self-reliance in such strategic defense technologies”. 

This secretive weapon system came to public notice in 2010, when the DRDO acknowledged the existence of the “Indian Unmanned Strike Aircraft” (IUSA), a drone built of lightweight composite materials and capable of delivering laser-guided strike weapons.

Interested in learning more about innovation in autonomous and robotic systems? Attend AUS&R 2022 Conference and Exhibition on unmanned systems, robotics, and smart mobility on July 13, 2022, at Expo Tel Aviv.