Sunday, October 17, 2010

DRDO test flies Rustom unmanned aircraft

The DRDO successfully flown in "RUSTOM", the medium altitude long endurance Unmanned Arial Vehicle (UAV) maiden flight here on Saturday.

The aircraft flown exactly as planned, up to a height of 3000 feet and remained airborne for 30 minutes and completed all mission requirements. It took off and landed (among the most challenging maneuvers for a UAV), using a runway at an air field owned by Taneja Aerospace, Bangalore, like a normal aircraft with the ground based pilot in full control monitoring every maneuver of the aircraft and auto mode remaining on.

Rustom is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) being developed by DRDO for the three services, Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force of the Indian Armed Forces. Rustom is derived from the NAL's LCRA (Light Canard Research Aircraft) developed by a team under the leadership of late Prof. Rustom B. Damania in the 1980s. The UAV will have structural changes and a new engine.Rustom will replace/supplement the Heron UAVs in service with the Indian armed forces. Rustom UAV will be able to execute surveillance of the enemy territory up to a distance of 250 kilometers and carry a variety of cameras and radar for surveillance.

According to the ADE, the Rustom UAV will be better in its capabilities than the imported Israeli UAV Heron used by the Indian Army and will eventually supplement it. It will also be different from other Indian indigenous UAVs like “Lakshya” and “Nishant” and have many structural changes and a better customized engine.