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India Tests Domestic Drones Modeled After General Atomic’s Predator

© AP Photo / Kirsty WigglesworthUnmanned U.S. Predator drone. (File)
Unmanned U.S. Predator drone. (File) - Sputnik International
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The Indian military has finished testing a drone that Indian news reports say will reduce New Delhi’s reliance on unmanned aircraft imported from the US and Israel.

India's Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) recently conducted successful flight trials for the Rustom 2 unmanned aerial vehicle, the India Times reported Monday. The drone is developed after General Atomics' MQ-1 Predator model.

This handout photograph released by the Ministry of Defence on February 20, 2013, shows a HAL Black Tiger Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) performing a flypast during a full dress rehearsal for the Indian Air Force's Iron Fist 2013 military exercicse in Pokhran, near Jaisalmer in India's Rajasthan state, on February 19, 2013 - Sputnik International
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The agency "successfully flew its Rustom 2 today at its Aeronautical Test Range in Chalakere," a town in western India, according to a Sunday statement. "This flight assumes significance due to the face that this is the first flight in user configuration with higher power engine," the India Times quoted DRDO saying.

The UAV can fly at medium altitudes for 24 hours straight.

The Times of India reported recently that India's military fields more than 200 drones imported from Israel. While most of the remotely piloted aircraft only conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions, New Delhi has some Harop "killer" drones in its arsenal that can be used as kamikaze planes, the news outlet reported Saturday.

The Indian Defense Ministry announced plans to buy 400 drones over the next decade on February 24.

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