November 17th, 2016
Rustom-2 or Tapas 201, India’s long endurable Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation completed its first flight on Tuesday. The UCAV which comes under the ‘medium-altitude, long endurance’ (MALE) category of vehicle, took its first flight at Challakere, 200 km away from Bengaluru in the district of Chitradurga in Karnataka, India. It came seven years after Rustom-1.
The Rustom-1 which flew for the first time in 2009, had been named after the late Rustom Damania, who helped developed the aircraft that had been used as a prototype.
In September 2013, the Rustom-2 began full power taxi trials at the Kolar airfield near Bengaluru. It is powered by twin NPO-Saturn 36MT Turboprop engines, the Rustom-2 is being developed as a long endurance surveillance platform capable of deploying precision weapon. After three year delay it took its first flight at Challakere.
It has met all the expectations during its first flight, according to the sources in the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), as reported by The Times of India.
The developers of Rustom-2 claimed that it will be an aircraft unlike any other UAV in the ranks of their forces. It has a wingspan of more than 20m and an endurance of 24-30 hours. It is based on Rustom-H model, and scientists compare it to predator drones (drones which track people). It is equipped with contemporary technology and it needs a runway to takeoff and land unlike traditional UAVs.
Rustom-2 as compared to Rustom-1 has enhanced aerodynamic configuration, digital flight control and navigation system. As per ADE sources,”Besides, it will also have automatic takeoff and landing capabilities, this version of Rustom is comparable to some of the best in the world.”
It expects orders from all three wings of the armed forces- army, navy and the air force.
The Logical Indian appreciates the efforts of the scientists, engineers and everyone involved in building the world class combat vehicle. We do hope that the need to use these machines does not arise.