Lakshya 2 Pilotless Target Aircraft. Photo Copyright © Vijainder K Thakur
Lakshya 2 is an improved version of the Lakshya with digital flight controls and state-of-the-art navigation systems that is currently under testing.
Lakshya first flew in 1985 and became operational in 2000. It is currently being used by all the three services.
The 705 kg drone is powered by a single HAL PTAE-7 turbojet.
Low altitude flight trials of Lakshya-2 were conducted at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore on December 20 and December 23, 2010. The objectives of the flight trials were.
Digital Flight Control System incorporating Autonomous Way Point Navigation with Global Position Satellite updates.
Programmed low altitude flight in clean configuration and in Tow body configuration.
High G maneuvers in both configurations.
Mobile systems on three high-mobility vehicles in typical user configuration.
New features of Mobile Ground Control Station (GCS).
On December 20, 2010, Lakshya-2 was programmed to fly at 25 meter above sea level and the objective was achieved. It flew for a distance of 10 km at 25 meter with average altitude deviation of less than 1 meter.
On December 23, 2010, aircraft was programmed to fly at 150 meter and the tow body flew at approximately 50 meter altitude. The flight took place for the programmed leg length of 20 Km.
DRDO is interacting with Armed Forces for Limited Series Production (LSP) order and industries as production partners.
IAF and ADE personnel successfully test flew a Lakshya 2 on Monday, September 12, 2011 for over 30 minutes at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the Orissa coast.
Earlier both the sea and land recovery versions of the PTA have been test flown successfully.
More trials are planned in the days ahead.
During trials on January 25, 2012, in a flight lasting over 30 minutes, the Lakshya was made to dive down from an altitude of around 800 m to just 12 m and maintained required altitude for the specified time before demonstrating auto climb-out. The entire flight was pre-programed and was totally successful.
The aircraft demonstrated its ability to fly in way point navigation mode while carrying 2 tow targets.
During the flight one of the tow targets was released and the other was deployed while way point navigation was on.
This was the 10th flight of Lakshya-II PTA and this was the first time that the ultimate capability of the Lakshya-II, was demonstrated achieving all the user’s objectives.