DRDO to set up test range for UAV at Challakere in K'taka

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Bangalore, Oct 31 (UNI)The country's first flight test range for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will be established at Voru Kaval in Challakere taluk of Chitradurga District of Karnataka, Defence Research and Development Chief Controller Prahlad said today.

Talking to newspersons here, he said the Karnataka government has allotted 4,200 acres of land for establishment of Integrated Test Center at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore. The Range may be ready in two years time.

Chitradurga was selected for the prestigious project, to be built on the lines of The Interim Test Range at Balasore in Orissa after visiting two sites at Hiriyur and Challakere taluks in the district.

To a question, Dr Prakash said the Range was meant only for testing unmanned aircraft and not for missiles, which were at present tested at the Interim Test Range at Balasore.

To another question, he said the Karnataka government has fixed Rs 12 crore as the price for the land and the deal would be finalised after getting approval from the ministry.

He said the new facility was necessary since the Integrated Test Center at Kolar also in Karnataka was not sufficient and aircraft cannot be flown at high altitude due to restrictions by the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL).

The DRDO has obtained clearances from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the Chitradurga project.

The centre would produce and test the small UAV, micro-UAV, flapping wing UAV and the long range UAV. Though the research and development of individual components for the vehicle would take place in Defence laboratories, including Bangalore's Aeronautical Development Establishment, as well as the centres in Pune and Dehradun, the final assembling and testing is expected to be done in Chitradurga.


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