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DRDO Rustom UAV: Advancing Aerial Surveillance



  Mar 26, 2024

DRDO Rustom UAV



1. What is the DRDO Rustom?

The Rustom is a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force. It’s designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.

2. What are the capabilities of the Rustom UAV?

The Rustom UAV can fly at an altitude of up to 28,000 feet, has an endurance of 18 hours, and can carry a maximum payload of 350 kg. This enables it to perform extended surveillance and reconnaissance missions over large areas.

3. What is the significance of the Rustom-2 or Tapas-BH-201?

Rustom-2, also known as Tapas-BH-201, represents an advancement in the Rustom UAV series, designed to meet India’s ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance) requirements. Developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) with HAL and BEL as production partners.

4. What are the specific features of the Rustom-2?

The Rustom-2 is expected to enhance the operational capabilities of the Indian armed forces by providing a cost-effective, advanced ISTAR platform. It flies within a medium-altitude window of 10,000 to 30,000 feet and typically has a range of 180-200 km with an endurance of up to 12 hours, making it ideal for comprehensive surveillance missions.

5. How does the Rustom series contribute to India’s defense capabilities?

The Rustom series, including the Rustom-2, significantly boosts India’s defense surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence-gathering capabilities. By operating at medium altitudes for extended periods, these UAVs provide critical information and situational awareness that can shape defense strategies and responses.

6. Are there any known challenges or setbacks in the Rustom UAV project?

While the Rustom UAV project is a significant step forward in indigenous UAV technology, it has faced challenges, including a crash in September 2019. However, these challenges are part of the development process for advanced defense technologies and contribute to the learning curve for future improvements.

7. What makes MALE UAVs like the Rustom important for military operations?

MALE UAVs such as the Rustom are vital for modern military operations due to their ability to provide sustained surveillance and reconnaissance over large geographical areas. Their endurance and payload capacity make them indispensable tools for gathering intelligence, monitoring borders, and supporting tactical operations.


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