The Defence Research and Development Organisation on Sunday announced another successful test flight of its under-development unmanned aerial vehicle Rustom-2.
The flight was conducted at the DRDO's Aeronautical Test Range at Chalakere in Chitradurga district of Karnataka.
''This flight assumes significance because of the fact that this is the first flight in user configuration with a higher power engine. All parameters were normal,'' the DRDO said in a statement.
DRDO said the test flight was ''successful'' and all its parameters were ''normal''.
Rustom 2 belongs to the category of predator drones of the US that are used to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance roles for the armed forces.
It is capable of carrying different combinations of payloads like synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence systems and situational awareness payloads, officials said.
Rustom-2 is a medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drone. It can fly up to an altitude of 22,000 feet and has an endurance of over 20 hours. It is capable of carrying payloads for electronic and signal intelligence missions.
Currently, the armed forces employ Israeli drones and have projected a requirement of hundreds of more UAVs, including armed variants, in the near future. The DRDO is also developing other drones in different categories.
DRDO chairman S Christopher, its director general of Aeronautical System CP Ramanarayanan, DG Electronics and Communication Systems J Manjula and other senior scientists witnessed the test flight.
The around Rs1,500-crore UAV project was initiated considering requirement of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
The UAV has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of the DRDO, and aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd are its production partners.