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Indigenous drone takes maiden flight

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Indigenous drone takes maiden flightIndia’s DRDO successfully carried out the maiden flight of indigenous unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) Rustom-II, an official statement said.

Also called Tapas 201, the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV took flight from Aeronautical Test Range (ATR), Chitradurga, 250 km from Bengaluru which is a newly developed flight test range for the testing of UAVs and manned aircraft.

The drone has been developed on the lines of American Predator drones.

“The flight accomplished the main objectives of proving the flying platform, such as take-off, bank, level flight and landing etc,” the statement said.

Rustom-II has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), the Bengaluru-based premier lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd as the production partners.

The UAV weighing two tonnes was put into air, and was piloted by armed forces personnel.

It is also the firs prototype UAV which has undergone certification and qualification for the first flight from the Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA).

A multi-mission UAV, with an endurance of 24 hours, is being developed to carry out the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance roles for the three forces.

“It is capable to carry different combinations of payloads like Medium Range Electro Optic (MREO), Long Range Electro Optic (LREO), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT) and Situational Awareness Payloads (SAP) to perform missions during day and night,” the statement said.

Rustom- II will undergo further trials for validating the design parameters, before going for user validation trials.

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