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DRDO Rustom (Warrior)

India (2019)
Picture of DRDO Rustom (Warrior) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The DRDO Rustom series of UAVs is breaking new ground for the Indian aviation industry.


Detailing the development and operational history of the DRDO Rustom (Warrior) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  Entry last updated on 3/1/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Despite being one of the largest (if not THE largest) customer of military purchases in the world, the Indian military-industrial complex has been hard at work at developing internal solutions to promote a more self-reliant Indian military inventory. DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) is working on the remotely-piloted "Rustom" Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the Medium-Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) category with prospects for an armed version to evolve. Origins of the program date back to initiatives undertaken in the 1980s and 1990s which have since resulted in a flyable prototype achieving first flight on November 11th, 2009. The Rustom is expected to see three distinct variants as the "Rustom-I", the high-altitude "Rustom-H" and armed "Rustom-II". The Rustom-I will feature a contained mission endurance window of 12 hours while the Rustom-H is said to double that value as well as fly at higher altitudes. The Rustom-II will be the fully-featured, combat-capable UAV (more precisely, a "UCAV" = "Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle") following the form and function of the successful American "Predator" UAV line.

Outwardly, the Rustom prototype shares an appearance not unlike a Burt Rutan light aircraft design. It sports a three-legged, fixed undercarriage, rear-mounted main wing appendages and a canard wing assembly at front. Vertical fins are set at the main wing tips. The powerplant is contained in the aft section of the fuselage driving a two-bladed propeller in a "pusher" configuration. Avionics and mission equipment are housed within the forward section of the fuselage. The payload limit is listed at 165lbs while the empty airframe weighs 1,560lbs. Power is served through an American Lycoming O-320 series 4-cylinder engine of 150 horsepower.

The Rustom-H shares a wholly different physical configuration than the Rustom-I prototype as it sports mid-set, straight main wing appendages, a bulbous nose section (ala the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk), a retractable, three-legged undercarriage and a tapering empennage. The tail unit is of a conventional "T" shape with its high-mounted horizontal tailplane. The payload limit is 770lbs with an empty airframe weight of 4,000lbs while power is served through 2 x Russian NPO-Saturn 36MT series turboprop engines fitted under the wings in nacelles, these engines developing 100 horsepower each while driving three-bladed propellers. The Rustom-H is scheduled for a first flight in 2014.
The Rustom features a maximum speed value of 140 miles per hour with a range out to 220 miles (Rustom-I) and 625 (Rustom-H). The Rustom-I will operate at altitudes of up to 26,000 feet while the Rustom-H will operate closer to 35,000 feet. No specifications are currently available for the Rustom-II UCAV.

As of this writing (December 2013), the Rustom is in active development. The series is intended to replace the Israeli-originated, globally popular IAI "Heron" line of unarmed UAVs in service with the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

November 2016- The Rustom-2 has completed its first-flight (November 17th).

February 2018 - The Rustom-2 product was successfully flown in a production-quality form on February 25th.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (140mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the DRDO Rustom-II's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
3
3


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: India
Year: 2019
Type: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Manufacturer(s): Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) / Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - India
Production: 3
Status: In-Development
Global Operators:
India (planned)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the DRDO Rustom-II model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
31.17 ft


Meters
9.5 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
67.59 ft


Meters
20.6 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
7.87 ft


Meters
2.4 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
3,968 lb


Kilograms
1,800 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
7,716 lb


Kilograms
3,500 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Lycoming O-320 engine developing 100 horsepower and driving two-bladed propeller in pusher configuration (Rustom-I); 2 x NPO-Saturn 36MT turboprop engines developing 100 horsepower each (Rustom-H).

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
140 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
225 kph


Knots
121 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
217 mi


Kilometers
350 km


Nautical Miles
189 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
21,998 ft


Meters
6,705 m


Miles
4.17 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

Generally none for Rustom-I and Rustom-H though the Rustom-II will be an armed UCAV-type aircraft, properly armed for the role.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Rustom-I - Prototype Model; medium-altitude version with 12-hour endurance; single Lycoming engine driving two-bladed propeller in pusher arrangement.
• Rustom-H - High-Altitude variant with 24-hour endurance; twin turboprop-powered design.
• Rustom-II - Armed UCAV variant based on the Rustom-H model.