Next Week, An Desi Advanced Surveillance Drone Called Be Released
- India, on the other hand, is a long way behind other countries in making advanced UAVs, so it has had to buy a lot of Heron and Searcher-II drones from Israel over the years.
- The Archer-NG looks a lot like the Tapas-BH, and it has a lot of the same hard-points for carrying weapons.
Next week, India’s first advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for strategic reconnaissance and surveillance will be shown to the public for the first time. In June or July, India’s first weaponized drone will also fly for the first time.
The DRDO developed the Tapas-BH (tactical aerial platform for advanced surveillance-beyond horizon) drone, which has already made more than 180 flights. During the Aero-India show in Bengaluru, different aircraft will be shown in the air and on the ground.
“Tapas-BH will show off what it can do, like fly up to 28,000 feet high and stay in the air for more than 18 hours. The medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) is DRDO’s answer to the needs of the Army, IAF, and Navy for ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance), a defence ministry official said on Thursday.
Sources say that the Archer-NG (next generation) armed drone, which can carry 300 kg of weapons like smart anti-airfield weapons (SAAWs) and anti-tank guided missiles, will be tested in the air for the first time between June and July.
The Tapas-BH drone, which used to be called Rustom-2, can go as fast as 225 km/h and has a wing span of 20.6 metres. It can communicate with satellites over a distance of 1,000 km, which is called its “command range.”
“The UAV, which can also fly at night, is now getting ready for a formal user trial by the military. “After that, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), Bharat Electronics (BEL), and others can make a lot of them,” a source said.
Recent conflicts, like the one between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the one between Russia and Ukraine, have shown how useful drones and AI-enabled drone swarms can be.
India, on the other hand, is a long way behind other countries in making advanced UAVs, so it has had to buy a lot of Heron and Searcher-II drones from Israel over the years. The US company General Atomics rents the Navy two unarmed MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones.
Advanced drones made in the country will be a lot cheaper. With all of its mission sensors, the Tapas-BH, which is currently flown by a foreign engine, costs about Rs 40–45 crore. “The homegrown UAV engine is also ready and testing is going well,” the source said.
“It’s important to note that a homegrown advanced ground control station can control six to seven UAVs made at home. The Archer-NG looks a lot like the Tapas-BH, and it has a lot of the same hard-points for carrying weapons.
By the way, China has given Pakistan armed Cai Hong-4 and Wing Loong-II drones. India has also been planning for a long time to buy armed MQ-9B Predator drones from the United States. But because the deal would cost $3 billion (Rs 24,000 crore) for 30 drones, the number of drones has been cut from 30 to 18.