UAV SWiFT 1-ton All Up Weight (AUW) Technological Demonstrator for India’s upcoming Unmanned Stealth Bomber has completed series of low-speed taxi trials and high-speed taxi trials and has been cleared for the first flight that likely will take place by end of this year.
It has been told that the DRDO test personnel monitored the aircraft’s performance and instrumentation from a ground control station to verify the functionality while the vehicle reached accelerated speeds over the last three months ground testing phase where SWiFT underwent low, medium, and high-speed taxi testing.
SWiFT has been powered by a Russian NPO Saturn 36MT turbofan engine, that will be later replaced by GTRE’s Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE). SWiFT will be used to collect data on the controllability of flying wing configuration and autonomous take-off and landing technology, retractable landing gear system, flying-wing design, and low radar signature data of the aircraft that will be used for further improvements.
Based on the conclusion of the SWiFT Technological Demonstrator program in the next 2-3 years, DRDO later plans to manufacture a full-scale model and test a prototype of a Ghatak stealth flying wing combat drone powered by a Dry Kaveri engine generating 46kN of thrust will be ready for flight trials by 2025-26.