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Rustom-2 UAV takes to the skies

Powering up:Rustom-2 on a test flight at the Aeronautical Test Range at Chitradurga in Karnataka on Sunday.

Powering up:Rustom-2 on a test flight at the Aeronautical Test Range at Chitradurga in Karnataka on Sunday.  

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) carried out a test-flight of the unmanned aerial vehicle Rustom-2 on Sunday.

“This flight assumes significance because of the fact that this is the first flight in user configuration with a higher power engine. All parameters were normal,” the DRDO said in a statement. The flight was conducted at its Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga of Karnataka.

Rustom-2 belongs to a family of UAVs under development, besides Rustom-1 and Rustom-H. It is a medium-altitude long-endurance drone (MALE) and will fill a critical capability gap in the inventory of the armed forces.

It can fly up to an altitude of 22,000 feet and has an endurance of over 20 hours. It is capable of carrying payloads for electronic and signal intelligence missions. Currently, the three services employ hundreds of Israeli drones and have projected a requirement of hundreds of more UAVs, including armed variants, in the near future. The DRDO is also developing other drones in different categories.

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