SOURCE: Anantha Krishnan M / MANORAMA ONLINE
Rustom-II (Tapas), the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Aeronautical Development Establishment flew in the Satellite Communication (SATCOM) mode for the first time.
Sources at DRDO headquarters confirm that the UAV also flew with the long range electro optical payload. They claim that these two capabilities are not available on the Heron and Searcher UAVs being operated by the tri-Services now.
The future of this UAV programme is still unclear, with the Services yet to give any firm commitment. Sources say the Tapas team is determined to prove several new capabilities during the next set of trials.