DRDO of India is actively testing the Autonomous Flying Wing (AFW) technology demonstrator to further bolster indigenous drone-making capabilities. The unmanned aircraft marks a considerable evolution for the country with a drone solution more akin to advanced forms found in the West. Capable of operating under full autonomy, a successful first-flight of the system was announced on July 1st, 2022, this specimen flown with a vertical tailfin in place.
The aircraft was developed by the engineers of the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) as part of the DRDO consortium.
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
monoplane / mid-mounted / swept-back
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform features wing sweep back along the leading edges of the mainplane, promoting higher operating speeds.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the DRDO AFW production variant)
1 x Non-afterburning turbofan engine of unknown make, model, and output thrust.
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the DRDO AFW production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
None. Mission-equipment for the testing role carried internally.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
AFW ("Autonomous Flying Wing") - Base Project Name.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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Official image from DRDO; Press Release.
Aviation developments of similar form and function, or related to, the DRDO AFW (Autonomous Flying Wing)...
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