On Friday, DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) successfully flight tested the Rustom-2 indigenous prototype drone at Chitradurga, Karnataka. Rustom-2 is medium altitude long endurance indigenous prototype drone and is capable of carrying different combinations of payloads depending on the objectives of a particular mission.
Rustom-2 can achieve height of 16,000 feet and have endurance for eight hours
DRDO achieved this great success after achieving eight hours of flying at an altitude of 16,000 feet at Chitradurga, Karnataka. Rustom-2 can comply to various mission objectives including including synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence systems and situational awareness systems. Another prototype is expected to be flight tested to achieve a height of 26,000 feet and endurance of 18 hours by this year end.
Project got jump start after reviewing the situation at LAC in Ladakh after PLA tried to occupy Indian territory
During the flight testing Rusto-2 was left with fuel for one hour flight after successfully achieving endurance for 8 hours at Challakere aeronautical test range in Chitradurga district of Karnataka. For the present time period Indian Air Force and Indian Navy were using the Israeli Heron unmanned Aerial Vehicle and DRDO expects that Rustom-2 will meet the specifications of Israeli Heron. The jump start for Rustom-2 project was provided by the recent stiff situations in Ladakh, at Indo- Chinese border LAC ( Line of Actual Control), where PLA (People’s Liberation Army) tried to occupy the Indian territory in Ladakh on the basis of Cartographical claim of 1959 on the LAC (Line of Actual Control).
Currently Ministry of Defence is negotiating with Israeli Aerospace Industry to upgrade the current fleet of Israeli Heron with air to surface missile and laser guided bombs. Before being inducted in the Indian Army, Rustom-2 will undergo test and user trials. A contract negotiating committee level was cleared by Defence Acquisition Committee (DAC) for the technical upgradation and arming for Israeli Heron.