Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) was established on 5 th January 1959, with the mandate to support the acquisition of equipment by the Air Force and type approval of aeronautical stores supplied by the industry. ADE was located on a 9 acre plot in temporary hutments in 'B' & 'C' camps at High Grounds, Bengaluru, which now houses the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium and Legislature's Home. ADE has grown from 9 acres to 4,387 acres, which includes ATR at Chitradurga.
During Sixties, in addition to the mandated tasks such as Evaluation trials of specialized equipment imported by IAF and Evaluation of Aircraft for type certification, ADE saw the development of Hovercraft. ADE made valuable strides in the areas of Ground Transmitter – Receiver, Regulated Power Supply Unit, IFF equipment etc. during the period.
Rapid expansion of R&D activities took place during the seventies and eighties. During this period, ADE was assigned the task of Design and Development of air- launched expendable target aircraft systems, Ulka, Mini RPV Demonstrator, Kapothaka, Pilot training simulators, Re-usable rocket pods, Head-up displays, Electro- optic sensors, Flight Control System (FCS) evaluation, Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) composite radome technology, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) of two classes – Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA), the high speed UAV for realistic simulation of enemy aircraft and Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV), low speed UAVs for Reconnaissance and Surveillance purposes and digital fly-by-wire FCS for Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
The Nineties saw the emergence of ADE as a major Aeronautical Systems Research Laboratory of the Defense R&D Organization and practically involved in all major aspects of aeronautical research, design and development pertaining to military aviation.
The period since 2000 has become a very productive one for ADE. To name a few – Delivery of Nishant to Army under Limited Series Production (LSP); Delivery of Pilotless Target Aircraft Lakshya to all three services through LSP; Development of Rustom-1, Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV; Development & Production of Airborne Guidance and Control System (AGCS); Delivery of Computerised Pilot Selection System (CPSS) to Air force; Delivery of Avionics Part Task Trainer (APTT), Development and realization of FLYDAQ – a Field deployed telemetry station for UAV development flights; Development of Mini & Micro UAVs etc.
Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) has been established at Challakere near Chitradurga and 65 flights of TAPAS BH-201 have been completed till date. 6 th flight of Nirbhay NGL-06 was successfully completed on 15-Apr-2019 at ITR, Balasore. Successful flight test of Abhyas – High Speed Expendable Aerial Target was conducted on 13-May-2019 at ITR, Balasore. TAPAS UAV and Nirbhay integration hangars have been commissioned. Full Mission Simulator for training squadron pilots of LCA has been set up at ADE and is also coming up at Sulur. A world class Active Electronically Scanning Antenna Array measurement facility at ATR, Chitradurga is coming up. SWiFT mock-up has been realized and LRU fitments are underway on the mockup. FOC has been accorded for LCA with ADE developed FCS.
For the entire Flight Control System for Airforce fighter and trainer, Naval fighter and trainer, ADE has delivered many LRUs of flight control systems to ADA, including more than 100 versions of safety critical software on Digital Flight Control Computer (DFCC). Many of the LRUs like DFCC, Air Data Computer, Levcon Air Data Computer, Digital Interface Unit (DIU), Flight Control Panel, Flight Test Unit, De-icing current sensing unit, test equipment like Airdats, Airdats-E and engineering test stations for evaluating ADC, LADC and DFCC respectively, along with the corresponding software, are produced by ADE, which are unique in nature to test these safety critical computers.
ADE has been awarded the AS9100D Certification for its best practices of QMS adhering to the Aerospace Quality Standard.
TUV-SUD America Inc., an authorised Certifying Body for Aerospace Standard AS9100, handed over the Aerospace Quality Management System - AS9100D certificate to Director ADE on 24 April 2018.