Unmanned aerial vehicle in Odisha fishermen's net in Bay of Bengal
It was a surprise for a group of fishermen from Odisha's Balasore district as they netted an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) while fishing in the Bay of Bengal.
The UAV was caught by the fishermen of Talapada village when they went to the deep sea on Monday.
It was later identified as that of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here, sources said.
The remotely piloted target aircraft, called Banshee, measures eight-feet long and weighs over 50 kg, the sources at ITR said.
The empty fiber bodied aircraft is mostly used during trials and practices, they said.
There is no need to panic as it is an expendable remote-controlled aircraft and at times it falls into the sea after being used, they added.
The fishermen said they were scared as the UAV got trapped in their net.
They then took it to the shore on their motorised boat and said would hand it over to officials of the test range once they arrive.
The aircraft is used as an aerial target for surface- to-air and air-to-air missiles and weapon systems, defence sources said, adding that the UAV was flown as part of a radar calibration exercise of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Target drones are usually flight tested to calibrate it with the radar on fighter aircraft before the actual launch of an air-to-air missile, they said.
It was used as an expendable target and its retrieval was not necessary, the sources said.