Tuesday, October 19, 2010

DRDO's "Rustom" UAV Takes off Successfully for the First Time

The Defence Research and Development Oganisation (DRDO), said it had successfully flown the indigenously built Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), named "Rustom". It is a medium altitude long endurance UAV, developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a lab of the DRDO. The ADE specialises in UAVs and flight control systems.


The DRDO while releasing a picture of the UAV said it flown in a manner as planned, up to a height of 3,000 ft and remained airborne for 30 minutes. "All mission requirements were completed." UAVs, fitted with sensors and high-resolution cameras, are critical for the modern battlefield needs and also in counter-insurgency areas.

Recently they were deployed to hover over the national capital to keep an eye during the just concluded Commonwealth Games. At present the country imports a majority of its UAV while Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is jointly developing some newer ones with an Israeli partner. The subsequent flights of the "Rustom" will test and demonstrate capabilities like controlling the UAV through GPS satellites.

The 'Rustom' has been designed for endurance of 12-15 hour with a 25,000-ft altitude ceiling and 75 kg payload of cameras and sensors. The data link for this has been developed by DEAL, another DRDO laboratory, and a private Indian company has built the airframe.

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