India's indigenous Rustom-1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has successfully completed its fifth flight test, ahead of its production.
The Indian Army is very keen to induct the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV, which has the capacity to touch speeds of 150 knots, reach altitudes of 22,000 feet, enjoys endurance levels of up to 15 hours and an operating range of 250 km when fully developed.
The MALE UAV in its fifth flight on Friday over Hosur in Tamil Nadu bordering Karnataka flew at an altitude of 2,300 feet above ground level and touch speeds of 100 knots during its 25-minute cruise, DRDO officials said here.
Rustom-1 is developed by Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) as the nodal laboratory and it had its first flight on November 16 last year.
"The flight was successful, as all the modifications done worked well and all the parameters were achieved by the UAV, which was weighing 661 kg and the total performance was good," ADE Director P.S. Krishnan said.
"In specific, the objective of testing modified lift-off scheme, modified altitude and speed-hold logics worked excellently well," he added.
Rustom-1 has the potential military missions like reconnaissance and surveillance, target acquisition, target designation, communications relay, battle damage assessment and signal intelligence, the DRDO said.
The Indian government has already permitted the development of Rustom in collaboration with a Production Agency cum Development Partner (PADP) and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-Bharat Electronics Limited joint venture has been chosen as the PADP.
Rustom is expected to be inducted into the army service in a year or two from now.