India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has shown the concept of a helicopter drone called RUAV designed to carry load in high altitude regions. The concept shown at Aero India 2021 can be fitted with a surveillance payload too if desired. It can carry around 150 kg payload.
The drone is slated to enter detailed design stage soon and is based on the Indian Army requirement for a high altitude drone that can carry payload to front line troops.
HAL executives told Defenseworld.net that the RUAV concept was based on an Indian Army requirement for a multi-purpose drone that could take off and land in high altitude on helicopter landing strips. HAL’s specialty being in helicopters, executing this project would be relatively easy, they said.
For this, vendors for engine and other systems had already been identified. The drone is planned to be put to test over the next 1-2 years.
Endurance drones have proven to be very useful in high altitude regions. In mid-2020, China revealed its AR-500C helicopter drone capable of taking off from an elevation of 5,000 meters and a flight ceiling of 6,700 meters.