25 March 2022
by Akhil Kadidal & Oishee Majumdar
India's locally developed Rustom-II MALE UAV is expected to achieve more than 18 hours of flight time while operating at an altitude of 28,000 ft. (DRDO)
India's Rustom II medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can reach the required altitude of 28,000 ft, G Satheesh Reddy, chairperson of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) told Janes.
“We are now looking at endurance,” he said, adding that in a month's time, the DRDO expects Rustom II to achieve more than 18 hours of flight time while operating at an altitude of 28,000 ft.
According to Janes All the World's Aircraft: Unmanned, Rustom II has an overall length of 9.5 m and a wingspan of 20.6 m. It is powered by two Saturn 36T turboprop engines, each rated at 74.57 kW (100 hp).
Also known as TAPAS-BH-201 (Tactical Advanced Platform for Aerial Surveillance-Beyond Horizon-201), Rustom II weighs 1,800 kg and has a cruising speed of 135 kt.
It is designed to carry payloads of up to 350 kg. The mission payloads are reportedly Israel-sourced and include electro-optic (EO) and infrared (IR) sensors, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and maritime patrol radars, communications relay, and electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) packages.
In November 2021 the DRDO demonstrated Rustom II's ability to take off and land autonomously as well as its ability to utilise India's satellite-based navigation system – GPS-aided GEO augmented navigation (GAGAN) – that has been jointly built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Airports Authority of India (AAI).
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India's Rustom II medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can reach the ...