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DRDO's combat drone Rustom-2 flies for the first time

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by flanker143, Nov 16, 2016.

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  1. venureddy

    venureddy Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    i guess it needs some design changes in it fuselage especially in the frontal and middle section.(I am not an expert in Aerodynamics correct me if i am wrong).
     
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  2. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Captain Technical Analyst

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    Don't worry about it, this capability will be added later (just like the Predator did not orginally start out as an armed UAS). The current plans are very sensible.
     
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  3. flanker143

    flanker143 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    An interesting read regrading India's drone programs.

    Never-Ending Unkept Promises

    “Aim for the sky and try developing more-advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) despite being incapable of developing far less-advanced UAVs over the past 28 years.” That’s what best exemplifies the track record to date of the MoD-owned Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), notwithstanding the tsunami of congratulatory messages that start flowing in from the MoD and DRDO every time a ‘desi’ UAV’s experimental technology demonstrator takes to the skies. Below is a brief track record of the DRDO’s UAV R & D efforts.

    [​IMG]


    Following EX BRASS TACKS in 1986, there arose a requirement by the Indian Army for a tactical UAV capable of conducting battlefield surveillance. Consequently, it was decided in September 1988 that the DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) would indigenously develop this 380kg UAV, known as Nishant.

    [​IMG]

    The Army finalised its General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR) in May 1990, following which the first Nishant UAV technology demonstrator made its maiden flight in 1995. It was rail-launched from a hydro-pneumatic launcher imported from Finland, while its powerplant was a VRDE-developed twin-cylinder RE-2-21-P piston engine developing 21hp and weighing 10.5kg. By 2002, the Army had placed an order for eight Nishants along with two ground control systems worth Rs.800 million (US$17.9 million).

    [​IMG]

    Recovered by a parachute, the Nishants were invariably damaged structurally and rendered unusable for long periods.

    [​IMG]

    A wheeled version of the Nishant, named Panchi, has been under development by ADE since 2013 and its first technology demonstrator, powered by a VRDE-developed four-cylinder RE-4-38-P engine (developing 38hp and weighing 22kg), made its maiden flight on December 24, 2014. No orders for this UAV have been placed by any end-user so far.

    [​IMG]

    The ADE-developed Rustom-1 tactical UAV is powered by a single imported Lycoming O-320 engine developing 150hp and it made its maiden flight on November 11, 2009. Its production deliveries were due to commence in late 2013, but to date that has yet to happen.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Rustom-2 MALE-UAV, powered by twin imported Austro Engine AE300 diesel engines each rated at 170hp, made its maiden flight on November 15, 2016. Its design was completed by February 2012 and in September 2013 a Rustom-2 technology demonstrator without any mission payloads began full-power taxi trials.

    [​IMG]

    To be co-developed by the MoD-owned DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) at a cost of US$46 million, ihe initial requirement for this MALE-UAV is for 76 for all three armed services. The 3rd and 4th airframes underwent a design validation phase that ended in January 2016 and are meant for technology demonstrations and technical trials by the ADE. The 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th airframes for user-evaluations have been ordered as well.

    Today, the Rustom-2 minus its mission payloads weighs 2,400kg and efforts are on to try to reduce it to 1,700kg ONLY AFTER delivery of the first 24 airframes to the end-users, which have mandated that the Rustom-2’s multi-sensor payloads must weigh no more than 360kg and its endurance should be 25 hours.

    [​IMG]

    The DRDO has so far claimed that the Rustom-2 will be capable of undertaking surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations and will therefore be capable of carrying different combinations of payloads, such as medium-range electro-optic (MREO) sensors, long-range electro-optic (LREO) sensors, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), electronic intelligence (ELINT) sensors and communications intelligence (COMINT) sensors.


    [​IMG]

    However, only R & D work by IRDE on developing MREO and LREO sensors and by LRDE on SAR have been launched to date. The Ku-band SAR employs a mechanically steered planar-array antenna, instead of an AESA antenna as is now the global norm.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thus far, no R & D work has been initiated on the development of either compact COMINT/ELINT payloads, or a Ku-band SATCOM-based data-link system for beyond-line-of-sight flight-/mission-control.

    [​IMG]

    http://trishul-trident.blogspot.in/2016/11/never-ending-unkept-promises.html
     
  4. Gessler

    Gessler Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    The Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter went from taxiing trials starting on 22, December 2010 to a first flight on 11, January 2011. Less than a month (20 days).

    For a relatively low-tech drone (compared to current state-of-the-art like X-47B) like Rustom-2, this process takes THREE YEARS. And along the way it doesn't even look like it underwent any design changes/improvements.

    I'm sorry but I'm not even sure if I should be celebrating about this - rather I should be burying my head in shame.

    The swamp of incompetency that are these state-run agencies needs to be drained. Yes, I stole that from Trump campaign.

    @Abingdonboy @PARIKRAMA @randomradio @vstol jockey @R!CK @Levina @seiko @vstol jockey @Joe Shearer
     
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  5. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Rustom-2 uses two Lycoming 200hp engines. VRDE is working with mahindra tech to build a indigenous replacement.
     
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  6. flanker143

    flanker143 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    ohh it did undergo some design changes, it was envisaged to weigh 1700kg , but somehow it ended up weighing 2400kgs that too without its eo gimbal and sar. Which will further increase the weight by another 200kgs

    because of this extra weight they had to use more powerful engines to compensate for their incompetence.
    im pretty sure now they have to fly with reduced internal fuel load which explains the inferior 25hr endurance.
     
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  7. Nilgiri

    Nilgiri Lieutenant GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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  8. Abingdonboy

    Abingdonboy Captain Technical Analyst

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    Chill bro, the Chinese are not as efficent as they would have us believe and DRDO is not as incompetent these days as some would like to portray.

    Things are going in the right direction (maybe not as rapidly as we would like), the thorough groundwork being laid today is going to be massively beneficial for India in the decades to come.
     
  9. Echo_419

    Echo_419 FULL MEMBER

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    You are kidding me, right? The Chinese are miles ahead in the development of drones and other unmanned systems. Even university kids can design better drones than the DRDO.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2016
  10. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    DRDO's UAV Rustom-2 won’t have combat capabilities
    Chethan Kumar | TNN | Updated: Nov 20, 2016, 05.02PM IST


    BENGALURU: Scientists at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) stare at a long penance before they can knock on the doors of any of the armed services to offer unmanned air vehicle Rustom-2, which has been rebranded Tapas (meaning penance in Hindi). Worse, it won't even have combat capabilities.

    The Tactical Air-Borne Platform for Surveillance-Beyond Horizon 201 (Tapas-BH 201) as Rustom-2 is called has just managed to complete the maiden flight , which will be followed by developments of nine more prototypes for testing after which the certification process will start.

    "We have to make 10 aircraft for test-flying before going into certification. We will require a one year of continuous effort before we can go knocking on the doors of the users (armed forces)," DRDO DG S Christopher told reporters on Sunday.

    DRDO also clarified that unlike all the previous branding, Rustom-2 won't have be a combat UAV and that is only being developed for surveillance. The Rs 1,500 crore project is being tested at a time the armed forces plan to increase their UAV/drone platforms, including those with combat abilities.
    As India continues to buy drones from abroad, some experts believe that Rustom-2 may become redundant.

    The agency also gave updates on the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas programme in the backdrop of the Centre clearing decks for placement of an additional 83 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), taking the total orders of LCA to 123.

    While the first 20 LCAs for IAF will go as per the initial operational configuration (IOC), all efforts are being made to incorporate other changes mandated for the final operational clearance (FOC) for the second 20 aircraft. The remaining 83 will see a mix of LCA MK1 and LCA Mk2, work on which is ongoing. Tejas is likely to miss another deadline- March 2017- set for the FOC.

    Pvt handholding for Kaveri

    Meanwhile, the nearly scrapped-Kaveri engine programme is looking at private handholding to become fit for certification and DRDO is hoping to fit it into an LCA prototype in two years.

    DRDO DG (aero) CP Ramanarayanan said that talks are on with private firm Snecma, which already has offset credit to help revive the programme. The Kaveri programme, originally conceived to power the LCA fleet has not managed to meet requirements and now talks are on for other uses for the engine, including power generation for the Indian Railways.

    With Rs 2,105 crore already spent on the futile programme, the latest plan to revive it with Snecma's help will see another Rs 500 crore to Rs 600 crore being spent.


    http://m.timesofindia.com/india/DRD...-combat-capabilities/articleshow/55525795.cms
     
  11. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    I hope so. Meanwhile somewhere in Western Desert last year, as Indian Army Strike Corps was practicing , it had Nishants crashing left and right; irony - of a UAV Squadron tasked to provide real time updates in Tactical C4I2 scenario
     
  12. soulspeek

    soulspeek FULL MEMBER

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    Wohaa, really? Its cause of a big concern. Making quadcopters and drones should be part of every college's curriculum. I bet University students would come up with better models that cN open eyes of even DRDO...!
     
  13. Inactive

    Inactive Guest


    It was hilarious!!!! Your Tac C3I system at Brigade levels failing because of this stupidity.

    But thankfully, we were having only an exercise!! And we have other ways and means to overcome this problem!
     

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