First flight of Rustom II UAV next February

The maiden flight of Rustom II, a medium altitude long endurance Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, has been scheduled for February 2014, by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE).

Speaking to Deccan Herald on the sidelines of an event here, ADE Director P S Krishnan said: “The first flight of Rustom II will be in February 2014 and we are confident that it will meet all the parameters.”

The aircraft, which is named after Professor Rustom B Damania of the Indian Institute of Science, is being developed by the ADE in Bangalore, which is part of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Equipped with contemporary technology, Rustom II will have an endurance level of 24 to 30 hours, he explained.

The first version of Rustom had an endurance of 12 to 15 hours, which has been drastically improved.

Speaking about the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Nishant, he added: “Besides the orders for four which the Indian Army has placed, we are likely to get orders for eight more.”

Nishant had completed the confirmatory trials in Pokhran and Chandan ranges in the past.

It is based on this that the Army took the delivery of four vehicles. “The performance of the payload sensors, in particular, has been better than even the imported UAVs with the Army,” he had said earlier.

This comes as a huge relief to ADE, which has been working on the project since 1991.

The General Staff Qualitative Requirements for the Nishant project was given to the DRDO by the Indian Army in 1999, soon after the development trials were over.

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