First flight test of Rustom-2 UAV successfully conducted in user configuration with higher power engine
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has carried out first successful test-flight of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Rustom-2 in user configuration with higher power engine. The flight was conducted at its Aeronautical Test Range at Chitradurga in Karnataka and all its parameters were normal.
Rustom-2 belongs to family of UAVs under development, including Rustom-1 and Rustom-H. It is medium-altitude long-endurance drone (MALE). It can fly up to an altitude of 22,000 feet and has endurance of over 20 hours. It is capable of carrying payloads for electronic and signal intelligence missions.
Rustom-2 has been modelled on Rustom-H UCAV with light airframe. It is 9.5 metres long and stands 2.4 metres tall with wingspan of 20.6 metres. It is propelled by two 3-bladed NPO saturn engines. Its tail section comes with T-type vertical stabiliser and high-mounted horizontal tailplane.
It can fly at around 280 km/h and carry variety of payloads like Long Range Electro Optic (LREO), Medium Range Electro Optic (MREO), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Communication Intelligence (COMINT) and Situational Awareness Payloads (SAP) for performing missions even during the night.
Rustom 2 can fly missions on manual as well as autonomous modes. Its data link developed by Defence Electronics Application Laboratory (DEAL) transmits the ISR data to the armed forces’ ground control station in realtime allowing prompt action.
Rustom 2’s onboard way-point navigation system allows drone to conduct missions autonomously. It will be used by all three services of Indian armed forces, primarily for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations. Several critical systems and components of Rustom 2, like its airframe, avionics sub-systems, flight control, landing gear etc. have been made indigenously and some in collaboration with private manufacturers.