Indigenous Rustom UAV completes successful fifth flight


New Delhi: India’s indigenously designed and developed Rustom-I unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Friday completed its fifth successful flight, an official said here.

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Rustom, a medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV, has the capability to attain maximum speeds of 150 knots, fly at 22,000 feet altitude, and an endurance of about 15 hours. The UAV has an operating range of 250 km, when fully developed. The Indian Army has shown keen interest in the programme.

“Indigenously designed and developed Rustom-1 made its fifth successful flight this morning while flying at an altitude of 2,300 feet above ground level and at a speed of 100 knots during a 25-minute cruise near Hosur (in Tamil Nadu bordering Karnataka),” a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) official said here.

DRDO’s Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) is the nodal laboratory for development of this MALE UAV, which had its maiden flight in 2010.

“The flight was successful as all the modifications done worked well and all the parameters were achieved by the UAV, which was weighing 661 kg, and the total performance was good,” ADE Director P.S. Krishnan said.

“In specific, the objective of testing modified lift-off scheme, modified altitude and speed hold logics worked excellently well,” he said.

The UAV has the potential military missions like reconnaissance and surveillance, target acquisition, target designation, communications relay, battle damage assessment and signal intelligence.