Rustom 2 is a medium-altitude long-endurance UCAV which has been often compared with Predator drones of the United States.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully carried out the flight test of Rustom 2 – an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) in Karnataka’s Chitradurga district on Sunday.
Rustom 2 or ‘TAPAS-BH-201’ is a medium-altitude long-endurance UCAV which has been often compared with Predator drones.
“DRDO successfully flew its Rustom 2 at its Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) at Chalakere at Chitradurga. This flight assumes significance due to the fact that this is the first flight in user configuration with higher power engine,” a statement read.
DRDO said that the test flight was “successful” and all its parameters were “normal”.
Here’s more about the unmanned combat air vehicle being developed for the Indian armed forces:
Story behind name
All three are variants named after Rustom Damania, a former professor of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. A Parsi, Rustom himself was named after Rostam Farrokhzad, a military general of the Parthian Empire.
DRDO has so far developed three variants — Rustom 1, Rustom H and Rustom 2. The first two had been tested earlier. Rustom 2 is the latest variant and is capable of carrying out combat operations.
DRDO decided to name the UCAV after Rustom as its concept came from National Aerospace Laboratories’ (NAL) Light Canard Research Aircraft (LCRA), which was developed under Damania’s leadership in the 1980s.
Rustom 2 can fly at medium-altitudes and has an endurance of 24 hours, similar to its American counterpart Predator series of drones.
It is designed to carry out surveillance as well as reconnaissance roles for the Indian armed forces and is capable of flying various combinations of payloads which include synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence systems and situational awareness systems.
The around Rs 1,500-crore UAV project was initiated considering requirement of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
The UAV has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of the DRDO while aerospace majors Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Limited are its production partners.