Suc­cess­ful maiden flight of Rus­tom-II


Herald­ing a new era in the in­dige­nous de­vel­op­ment of un­manned aerial ve­hi­cle (UAV), De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) on Novem­ber 16 suc­cess­fully car­ried out the maiden flight of TAPAS 201 (Rus­rom-II), a medium al­ti­tude long en­durance (MALE) UAV. The test flight took place from Aero­nau­ti­cal Test Range (ATR), Chi­tradurga, 250 km from Bengaluru, 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, the MALE UAV, has been de­signed and de­vel­oped by the Aero­nau­ti­cal De­vel­op­ment Es­tab­lish­ment (ADE), the Bengaluru-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 Cen­tre for Mil­i­tary Air­wor­thi­ness & Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (CEMILAC) and Direc­torate Gen­eral of Aero­nau­ti­cal Qual­ity As­sur­ance (DGAQA).

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