India's indigenous Rustom II medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has recently been observed carrying payloads such as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Medium Range Electro Optic (MREO), and Long Range Electro Optic (LREO). These cutting-edge payloads have been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) and are crucial for surveillance, reconnaissance, and precision targeting.
LRDE, known for its expertise in airborne imaging sensors, has successfully developed essential systems to enhance the capabilities of UAVS. One notable achievement includes the creation of a short-range imaging radar in the Ku band specifically designed for the Rustom II UAV. Unlike electro-optical and thermal counterparts, SAR operates as an all-weather imaging system, ensuring reliable performance during both day and night operations. This makes SAR an indispensable tool for defense applications.
The SAR-equipped Rustom II UAV provides high-resolution imagery and ground moving target information, making it invaluable for guiding precision-guided munitions and missiles. The system's key features include strip map mode imaging with resolutions of 6m and 3m, spotlight mode imaging with resolutions of 1m and 0.6m, and the ground moving target (GMT) mode capable of detecting vehicles on the ground within a maximum range of 40 kilometers.
The integration of advanced imaging sensors into the Rustom II
UAV signifies a significant milestone for India's defense
capabilities. The UAV'S SAR payload empowers it with enhanced
surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, allowing for real-time
and accurate intelligence gathering. The imagery and target
information obtained through SAR can guide military operations by
providing precise data for targeting enemy assets or guiding
weapons towards their intended objectives.