India showcases Rustom II long-endurance drone

The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) of India demonstrated the autonomous take-off and landing capabilities of the Rustom II medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) drone. DRDO announced this milestone on November 13. The agency added that during the trial, Rustom II also demonstrated its ability to utilize India’s GAGAN satellite navigation system.

Rustom II is a twin-turboprop UAV designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. It has a total length of 9.5 m and a wingspan of 20.6 m. It can carry payloads, such as gimbal photoelectric sensors weighing 350 kg.

The aircraft was jointly developed by the Bangalore-based Aviation Development Agency and the state-owned Hindustan Aviation Co., Ltd. and Bharat Electronics Co., Ltd. It comes from the Rustom drone family, the first of which was unveiled in 2009.

Rustom II is driven by two three-blade propellers and two Saturn 36T turboprop engines, each with a rated power of 74.57 kilowatts (100 horsepower). It has a tricycle landing gear with a T-shaped tail assembly and shoulder-mounted wings to improve the perceptibility of its payload system.

The UAV has a service ceiling of approximately 35,000 feet, a hovering speed of approximately 67 knots, and a maximum speed of 121 knots. For surveillance tasks, the drone can wander around the station for about 24 hours.

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Body length




Maximum takeoff weight


Maximum payload




Flight radius


(depending on the amount of oil loaded)

Maximum control distance

Remote control (manual control): 1km

Ground station control (depending on the distance of the digital transmission): 30km standard

Maximum speed


Cruising speed


Maximum oil load


Lift limit


Maximum wind resistance

12m/s(6 level winds)

Use environment

-10+45; anti-light rain

Vertical takeoff and landing

32*8000mAh-6S Li battery

Takeoff and landing mode

Vertical takeoff and landing