‘Rustom-2’ unmanned aircraft on experimental mission crashes

Rustom-2 aircraft of DRDO crashes in Karnataka

Bengaluru.17 September: Rustom-2, an unmanned aircraft on experimental mission by the Defense Research and Development(DRDO) organization has crash landed at a arecanut plantation of Jodi Chikkenahalli village under the limits of Challakere taluk in Chitradurga district this morning.

Two similar such crash landings had taken place some time back. On hearing today’s accident at 8 am people from the surrounding villages flocked the accident site to have a glimpse of the unmanned aircraft.

The DRDO conducts regular exercises of its experimental missions in Chitradurga district where it has been alloted 4,290 acre plot at Varavoo Kaval in Challakere taluk. The Challakere Aeronautical Test Range(ATR) is an outdoor testing and evaluating facility set up by the DRDO exclusively for unmanned and manned aircrafts.

The land was bought by bought by Ministry of Defense from the state government at a cost of Rs 12 crores in 2008 during a deal negotiated with the then BS Yediyurappa led Bharatiya Janata Party government regime.

This project is being set up with a planned investment of Rs 1,300 crores and the project envisages a runway besides other tracking,controlling equipments and a rail link to the facility have also been planned.

Challakere ATR is intended to conduct the trials of unmanned aerial vehicles(UAV), air to ground weapons, parachutes and aerostats. However, it has not been planned to use the facility for test flight of ballistic missiles.

This Challakere ATR was partially activated on 15 December 2010 and was formally inaugurated by Arun Jaitley, Union Finance and Defense Minister on 28 May 2017.

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