India’s Medium Altitude Long Endurance MALE UAV successfully flown

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bangalore: Maiden flight of India’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Military applications RUSTOM – ll was successfully carried out in Bangalore. The test flight took place from Aeronautical Test Range (ATR), Chitradurga, 250 km from Bangalore which is a newly developed flight test range for the testing of UAVs and manned aircraft. The flight accomplished the main objectives of proving the flying platform, such as take-off, bank, level flight and landing etc.

TAPAS 201 ( RUSTOM-II), the MALE UAV has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), the Bangalore-based premier lab of DRDO with
HAL-BEL as the production Partners. The UAV weighing two tonnes was put into air by a dedicated team of young scientists of DRDO. It was piloted (external and internal) by the pilots from the Armed Forces. It is also the first R&D prototype UAV which has undergone certification and qualification for the first flight from the Center for MilitaryAirworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA).

TAPAS 201 a multi-mission UAV is being developed to carry out the Intelligence,Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the three Armed Forces with an endurance of 24 hours. It is capable to carry different combinations of payloads like Medium Range Electro Optic (MREO), Long Range Electro Optic (LREO), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT) and Situational Awareness Payloads (SAP) to perform missions during day and night.

Most of the critical systems of this MALE UAV like airframe, landing gear, flight control and avionics sub-systems were Made in India by Indian Private industries in line with the Goverments policy of Make in India. Defence Electronics Application Laboratory (DEAL) of DRDO have developed the data link for the UAV. Rustom-2 will undergo further trials for validating the design parameters, before going for User Validation Trials.

With the successful flight of RUSTOM – II India’s dependency on advanced countries for its requirement of UAVs is expected to be phased out progressively.