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"Misjudgement of altitude" led to UAV crash: DRDO

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NEW DELHI (PTI): An under-development advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the country's premier defence research organisation crashed into a coconut tree due to misjudgement of altitude during its maiden flight near Bangalore on Tuesday.

"Due to misjudgement of altitude of the flight, the on-board engine was switched off through ground command which made the on-board thrust developed to go to zero and the Rustom-I UAV crashed into a coconut tree," DRDO officials said here.

The first flight of the technology demonstrator medium- altitude-long-endurance UAV called Rustom-I was held at the Taneja Aerospace airfield near Hossur in Karnataka.

"The taxing and take-off was exactly as planned and the first flight proved the functioning of number of systems such as aerodynamics, redundant flight control, engine, redundant data link, which go a long way towards development of complex UAVs," they added.

The DRDO has another three to four more prototypes of the UAV and they will be used for conducting tests in future, officials said.

With Rustom, DRDO is planning to build UAVs, which can be used by armed forces and end their dependence of Israeli UAVs such as Searchers and Herons.

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