The first flight test of indigenously developed UAV Rustom-2, set to be used solely for defence purposes, would take place in February 2014, the Aeronautical Development Establishment Director P.S. Krishnan announced at a recent press conference.
“Designing of Rustom-2 has been completed, purchase orders have been placed and we are on schedule to fly for the first time in February 2014.” The entire project of making 10 Rustom-2 UAVs and spare vehicles at a cost of Rs. 1,540 crore would be completed by August 2017.
Indigenous technology would enable ADE save about 40 per cent cost, he said, adding that all parts, except for cameras and sensors, have been developed in the country. Weighing 1.8 tonnes, Rustom-2 would have a capacity payload of 350 kg, a wing span of 21 metres and an endurance of above 24 hours, he said.
“Rustom UAVs could be deployed for military missions like reconnaissance and surveillance, target acquisition, target designation, communications relay, battle damage assessment and signal intelligence,” Krishnan said.