by Ryan Maass
Chitradurga, India (UPI) Nov 16, 2016
Defense researchers in India have hailed the first flight of the Rustom-II long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle as a success.
The Rustom-II TAPAS 201 completed its maiden flight on Wednesday in a test conducted by India's Defense Research and Development Organization, or DRDO. The event took place at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, roughly 155 miles from Bangladore.
Officials say the UAV successfully accomplished all main objectives during the test, including takeoff, bank, level flight, and landing. DRDO reports",nw} the aircraft was the first R&D prototype to undergo certification and qualification from the Center for Military Airworthiness & Certification and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance.
The 2-ton craft is a multimission UAV designed for combat roles in addition to intelligence and surveillance operations. It has an endurance of 24 hours, and can carry a variety of payloads including medium-range electro-optic, long-range electro-optic, synthetic aperture radar, and situational awareness payloads to perform missions during the day and night.
While defense officials have praised the flight test, several steps remain before the Rustom-II enters service with three of India's military branches. The craft is scheduled to undergo further evaluations before it can be approved for user validation trials.
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