Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rustom-1 MALE-UAV Awaiting Army Order

Rustom-1 at DefExpo-2012
With Rustom-2 being one of the star attractions of DefExpo 2014 there was literally no place for the Rustom-1 in the display area outside the India Pavilion, but the project is well and kicking.

The all composite Rustom-1 based on the Rutan Long-EZ home built aircraft design and powered by 160-hp Lycoming engine has flown 30 time and logged 34 hrs, a DRDO rep told IDP Sentinel on February 8, 2014.

Rustom 1 has flown at an altitude of 20,000-ft and demonstrated an endurance of 5-hr. At the request of the Indian Army, the endurance is being stepped up to 8 to 10-hr. The aircraft cruises at 80-kt to 100-kt and has a max speed of 190-kt in a dive.

Presently, the aircraft needs to be externally piloted during take-off and landing. The Army has asked for autonomous take-off and landing (ATOL) capability, which the ADE is working on, both for Rustom-1 and Rustom-2.

Rustom-1 at DefExpo 2014

DRDO is currently pitching Rustom-1 for


  1. Reconnaissance & Surveillance
  2. Target Acquisition
  3. Target Designation
  4. Communication Relay
  5. Battle Damage Assessment
  6. Signal Intelligence.


The aircraft has a payload capacity of 60-kg. The wing has a hardened joint that will allow the UAV to carry light armament along with its EO sensors.

Increased endurance and ATOL would be compelling upgrades that would result in Army orders and pave the way for weaponizing the platform.

DRDO developed Rustom-1 as a replacement for the Israeli Searcher UAV that is used by all the three services. The Rustom-1 is claimed to have a much lower acoustic signature than the Searcher.

For additional details on Rustom-1 please visit the link below.

Rustom-1 MALE (IDP Sentinel)