India – Successful Flight of RUSTOM-I

Indigenously designed and developed RUSTOM-1 made 14th successful flight this morning at Kolar with attainment of about 11,500 ft AGL (above ground level) and speed of above 140 Kmph during 2 hrs 10 minutes of cruise. It may be noted that this unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a DRDO lab at Bangalore, had its maiden flight in Nov 2009. Mr. PS Krishnan, Director ADE stated that the flight was successful. All the parameters were achieved by the UAV which weigh around 690 Kg and the total performance was satisfactory.

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The highlights of the flight are:
a) Use of lean mixture control system in the engine for flights at high altitudes.
b) Takeoff weight being heaviest so far.
c) Achieved max altitude of 3.5 kms, about 11500 ft.
d) Extended range of about 50 kms tried out for the first time. The waypoint track was perfect and so were takeoff and landing etc.,

This UAV has the potential military missions like Reconnaissance & Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Target Designation, Communications Relay, Battle Damage Assessment and Signal Intelligence.

This UAV can attain a maximum altitude of 22,000 ft and endurance of 12-15 Hours with an operating range of 250 Kms when fully developed.

Ministry of Defence, India