PIC CREDIT @ Ranjan@RanjanShell

India’s Rustom II medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) made the first external pilot-assisted night landing demonstration. In November 2021 the DRDO demonstrated Rustom II’s ability to take off and land autonomously as well as its ability to utilize India’s satellite-based navigation system – GPS-aided GEO augmented navigation (GAGAN) – that has been jointly built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Airports Authority of India (AAI).

DRDO plans to demonstrate Rustom II for more than 18 hours of flight time while operating at an altitude of 28,000 ft, Rustom- II already has demonstrated its flight altitude above 27,500 feet with an endurance of 18 hours recently.

Rustom II weighs 1,800 kg and is designed to carry payloads of up to 350 kg like electro-optic (EO) and infrared (IR) sensors, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and maritime patrol radars, communications relay, and electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) packages.

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