Tuesday, October 19, 2010
India conducts first test flight of indigenous drone named Rustom
India has conducted a maiden test flight of an indigenously-built unmanned drone built to cut the country's dependence on military imports, news reports said Sunday.
The long-endurance drone Rustom-1 which took off from the southern city of Bangalore on Saturday, flew for 30 minutes and met all mission objectives, the Headlines Today news channel reported, quoting defence sources.
The drone was built by the Aeronautical Development Establishment, a laboratory of government-run Defence Research and Development Organization.
Rustom, with flying speeds of up to 180 kilometres per hour, is a prototype which India intends to develop into advanced models.
Defence scientists say the Rustom will replace or supplement the Israeli-built Heron drones currently used by India's armed forces.
India has ramped up military acquisitions including buying drones since the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks in which 166 people were killed.