CHITRADURGA: Rustom-II, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and being tested at Challakere Aeronautical Testing Range, crashed near Jodi Chikkanahalli village of Challakere taluk on Tuesday.The UAV crash-landed in fields about 40 kilometres away from the DRDO outdoor aeronautical testing range, the largest testing range in the country. Soon after take-off, the UAV developed a technical snag that resulted in the crash, said sources in the Defence Research and Development Organisation facility.
Sources said that the vehicle went out of control before falling in an areca grove around 7.50 am. After the vehicle crashed, curious locals rushed to the spot. They expected people inside the UAV, but were relieved when they realised there was no one.They went through the mangled remains, but before they could do something, DRDO scientists and local police reached the spot ‘within minutes’ and sent them away. The damaged drone was then shifted to the testing facility.
Rustom-II is a medium altitude long endurance UAV that will replace current UAVs (Heron) used by the Armed forces. Rustom-II is capable of carrying different combinations of payloads like synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence system and situational awareness payload, officials had revealed in 2018. Rustom-II is being developed for ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance). It is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment. Rustom-II was showcased at the 2014 Defence Expo held in New Delhi.