After a considerable delay, Rustom-2, India’s long endurance Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) finally completed its first flight early in Challakere, about 200km from Bengaluru.
The UCAV, which is in the medium-altitude, long endurance (MALE) category of vehicles, sources in the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) which developed the vehicle, said “met all the expectations” during the first flight.
First scheduled in late 2013, the three-year delay of the first flight had only added to the timeline, which is punctuated by other delays during development- even as the Indian armed forces are increasingly looking outside the country for combat drones with deals already struck with Israeli firms.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is an agency of the Republic of India, charged with the military’s research and development, headquartered in New Delhi, India.
It was formed in 1958 by the merger of the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production with the Defence Science Organisation. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
With a network of 52 laboratories, which are engaged in developing defence technologies covering various fields, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, land combat engineering, life sciences, materials, missiles, and naval systems, DRDO is India’s largest and most diverse research organisation.