Aeronautical Development Establishment

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Last Updated: July 1, 2003
Other Name: ADE
Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Subordinate To: Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Ministry of Defence (MoD)
Size: N/A
Facility Status: Active

The ADE was established in January 1959. During the 1960s, the ADE was tasked with the acquisition of equipment for the Indian Air Force. By the 1970s and 1980s, the ADE's activities expanded to include research and development in the areas of "flight simulation," development of "air-launched, expendable target aircraft systems, pilot training simulators, re-usable rocket pods, head-up displays, electro-optic sensors for aircraft, flight control system (FCS) evaluation, GFRP composite radome technology, unmanned aircraft including pilotless target aircraft (PTA) and remotely piloted vehicle (RPV), and the development of fly-by-wire FCS for the Light Combat Aircraft."

ADE is one of DRDO's "major aeronautical research laboratories...involving...all major aspects of aeronautical research, design, and development relevant to military aviation," with the exception of "propulsion systems." During the last two decades, the ADE's activities have included the development of:

  • Mini-remotely Piloted vehicle (RPV) for the Indian Army. The nodal production agency for the RPV is Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore (Karnataka).
  • Modified Lakshya Low Target (MLLT) for the Indian Navy. Thirteen of the proposed 63 vehicles have been supplied to the Navy along with the ground scoring station with test equipment and documentation. These can be integrated with manned towing target aircraft.
  • Limited series production of the Lakshya PTA at HAL, Bangalore. The Lakshya is expected to meet the requirements of the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force.
  • Integrated avionics package (IAV) for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The avionics package is based on the "Z-8200, Intel 80186 microprocessors, and 8751 micro-controller to perform flight control, navigation, and mission functions of the UAV." The IAV for the Nishant UAV provides capabilities for "automated safe launch, in-flight programmable way point navigation, get you home and auto pilot modes, recovery and payload controls." This system has been validated on the Nishant UAV and is being adapted for other UAV platforms.
  • Integrated "navigation-cum-control computers have been flown successfully on UAVs," and "high efficiency electro-mechanical actuators have been designed and built for specific UAV flight control applications."
  • Electromechanical actuators for UAVs. The "flight control suite consists of attitude, attitude rate, acceleration, altitude, speed, and heading sensors." The flight control suite "has been successfully interfaced with the flight control computer."
  • Flight control microprocessors and software for UAVs. The "development of the flight qualified software and its integration and testing with the hardware has enabled the integrated FCS [flight control system] to meet stringent flight-safety requirements."
  • A "two-axis steerable and stabilized platform has been developed to carry various electro-optic sensors like daylight and low-light TV cameras with zoom optics, laser range finder and FLIR. The gimbaled payload assembly (GPA) provides high-degree stabilization of the sightline against aircraft motions and vibrations. A video tracker has been developed and integrated with the GPA for automatic flight tracking." The GPA has been deployed on the Nishant UAV.
  • A telecommand system for command and control of the Lakshya UAV. The system operates at "UHF/L band and consists of a compact airborne unit and a compatible ground control station (GCS) and incorporates features such as mission planning, and simulator facility. The GCS has the capability to plan, validate, and execute UAV missions."
  • Composite airframe design for a UAV. The "laminated fiber-reinforced composite-airframe is centered around indigenously available glass/carbon fibers and resin systems, soft composite tooling, vacuum bagging, and matched die molding fabrication processes."

[1] "Aeronautical Development Establishment," Defence Research & Development Organisation,;
[2] "Address Book," Defence Research & Development Organisation,

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