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Rustom-1 Makes 14th Successful Flight

India's indigenously-designed and developed Rustom-1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) made its 14th successful flight at Kolar in Karnataka, when it attained 11,500 feet above ground level and speed of above 140 kmph during two hours and 10 minutes of cruise.

Developed by the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) lab, the medium altitude long endurance UAV had its maiden flight in November 2009.

ADE director PS Krishnan said the flight was successful.

All the parameters were achieved by the UAV, which weighs around 690 kg, and the total performance was satisfactory, he added.

The UAV used a lean mixture control system in the engine for flights at high altitudes with the take-off weight being heaviest so far.

It achieved a maximum altitude of 3.5 km or about 11,500 feet.

The extended range of about 50 km of the UAV was tried out for the first time.

The way point track was perfect and so were take-off and landing, according to ADE.

"This UAV has the potential military missions like reconnaissance and surveillance, target acquisition, target designation, communications relay, battle damage assessment and signal intelligence," the ADE said.

Rustom-1 can attain a maximum altitude of 22,000 feet and endurance of 12 hours to 15 hours with an operating range of 250 km when fully developed.

In its previous test flight on December 8 last year, Rustom-1 had attained a maximum altitude of 6,000 feet and a maximum speed of 90 knots during its 30-minute flight.

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