India's Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has considered to produce 10 unmanned aircraft similar to long-endurance combat drone Rustom-II for induction into the Indian armed forces in the future.
“We have decided to produce 10 pilot less or unmanned aircraft like Rustom-II, aimed at giving a boost to India’s development programme for UAV,” DRDO Director S Christopher was quoted as saying by The Indian Express Sunday.
Though it would take minimum a year to do it. We will also seek to get an order from Indian armed forces,” he added. However, development of nine prototypes of the advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) would be done after the successful flight of the first such drone, he said
“The first flight will be followed by development of nine more prototypes of the advanced UAV for testing, after which the certification process will start,” he said.
But TAPAS-BH-201 (Tactical Advanced Platform for Aerial Surveillance-Beyond Horizon-201) will be in a non-combat role, Christopher clarified. “Media reports are incorrect. Tapas is an UAV and not UCAV,” he said.
He showed confidence in going forward with the indigenous UAV on the lines of LCA Tajas which had proved its ability and is ready to be deployed in the armed forces, both in Air Force and Navy.
On the test flight of Rustom-2, rechristened as Tapas 201, Christopher said the UAV had met the initial expectations and the Rs 1,500 crore (US$219.6 million) programme was on line.