ADE working on Rustom-2 UAV

“The work on the Rs 1,500-crore project has already begun. It would be completed in about a decade,” P S Krishnan, Director, ADE said here on Monday. He was speaking at a curtain raiser ceremony for the symposium on Applied Aerondynamics.

The UAV, he said, will be an advanced version of Rustom-1, the medium altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (Male UAV), which has an endurance of 12-15 hours. The wing span of Rustom-2 will be 21 meters, one of the largest in its category with a flight endurance of 24 hours, he said.

The enthusiasm for Rustom-2 comes even as the Indian Army has not placed any order for Rustom-1, which recently completed its fifth flight on the outskirts of Bangalore.

He added that Rustom-1 will undergo another four to five tests to ascertain the satisfactory functioning of its design and systems. The Army might conduct additional trials, if needed.

The ADE is also preparing a case for solar-powered UAVs and Krishnan said the research and development activities would commence soon after the approval is given. “Such UAVs will be fitted with solar panels and they can stay afloat at above 30,000 feet for almost a week,” he said.

However, he admitted that ADE has no expertise in such a system and it might face a lot of challenges.

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