- The TAPAS monitoring drone took its first public flight at Aero India 2023 in Bengaluru earlier this year.
- The UAV can be controlled from a distance or run on its own, following pre-programmed flying plans with accuracy and flexibility.
This month, military tests of the indigenous TAPAS medium-altitude, long-range drone are expected to begin.
This happened just a few weeks after the platform showed a tri-services team for the first time what it could do at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka.
Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said in a statement after the flight that the TAPAS unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is now ready for the important part of user evaluation trials.
It said that the platform had made 200 trips without any problems.
The soon-to-be-started user evaluation trials will give the Indian Armed Forces a chance to fully test the TAPAS UAV in real-world situations. The goal of these tests is to find out how well it works, how efficient it is, and if it can be used for different defense uses.
In June of this year, the DRDO and the Indian Navy showed that they could move control of the TAPAS UAV from a ground station far away to the warship INS Subhadra, which was 148 km away from the Karwar naval base. This was done smoothly.
Reports say that DRDO’s TAPAS can work at levels up to 28,000 feet and can keep going for more than 18 hours.
“The platform has met most requirements, but more work needs to be done to meet the military’s goal of a drone that can reach an operational altitude of 30,000 feet and stay in the air for 24 hours,” the report says, citing information from Y Dilip, director of the state-run Aeronautical Development Establishment.
“In the beginning, we were limited by the engines,” Dilip said. Neither engines made in India nor engines made in other countries were good enough for the job.
The TAPAS monitoring drone took its first public flight at Aero India 2023 in Bengaluru earlier this year.
This tool was made to meet the needs of the three services for ISTAR, which stands for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, tracking, and reconnaissance. It works well both during the day and at night.
The UAV can be controlled from a distance or run on its own, following pre-programmed flying plans with accuracy and flexibility.