The Defence Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the newly built Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) at Chitradurga in Karnataka.
The ATR is the first of its kind range in the country exclusively meant to conduct flight-tests of indigenous unmanned and manned aircrafts, developed by the DRDO including the naval and trainer versions of the Light Combat Aircraft, the unmanned air vehicles- Rustom-I and Rustom-II (Tapas); the Airborne Early Warning & Control Systems (AEW&C), Air-to-Ground weapons, parachutes and aerostats, etc.
This outdoor testing and evaluating facility has been set up by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), one of the premier laboratories of the DRDO.
Spread across 4,029 acres, the 28 kilometre perimeter strategic test range envisages a two kilometre runway besides other tracking and control equipment where a rail link to the facility has also been planned.
The State-of-the-Art Range Control Centre (RCC) houses the Air Traffic Display System with remote control of Radar operations, ATC RF Voice communication system, Ground Telemetry system, Mission Video Distribution and Display System and Range Operational Communication System.
The Radar centre houses Primary Radar and Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR). About 200 acres of land outside the technical area is earmarked for a township with a shopping complex, school, hospital and transit facility.