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In2023, Tapas by DRDO: Explained about its capability

Tapas by DRDO: Explained about its capability

India has made a remarkable achievement in the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone category with the successful launch of Tapas-BH. The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) played a pivotal role in this feat, showcasing the capabilities of the Tapas Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) as it completed its 200th flight.

This milestone test signifies a significant advancement in addressing the requirements for high-caliber, high-altitude military drones specifically designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) purposes. The successful development and deployment of Tapas-BH contribute to strengthening the capabilities of the Indian armed forces in acquiring crucial intelligence and conducting surveillance operations.

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The Tapas-BH MALE drone offers an extended range, endurance, and altitude capabilities, allowing it to operate in medium altitudes for extended durations. Such capabilities are crucial for gathering real-time intelligence, conducting surveillance missions, and carrying out reconnaissance activities across diverse terrains and operational scenarios.

By demonstrating the successful 200th flight of Tapas-BH, India showcases its progress in indigenously developing advanced UAV technology. This achievement reflects the country’s commitment to self-reliance in defense capabilities and showcases its growing expertise in drone technology.

The Tapas-BH MALE drone’s successful performance in multiple flight tests paves the way for its potential integration into the Indian armed forces. The advanced capabilities offered by this drone are expected to enhance India’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, strengthen its surveillance operations, and bolster its overall defense and security apparatus.

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The successful development and deployment of Tapas-BH contribute to India’s quest to modernize its defense forces and bridge existing gaps in critical areas such as ISR capabilities. This indigenous achievement highlights the country’s commitment to technological advancements and its determination to leverage cutting-edge technology for national security.

Overall, the successful 200th flight of the Tapas-BH MALE drone marks an important milestone in India’s defense capabilities, specifically in the domain of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. It represents a significant step towards meeting the evolving needs of the Indian armed forces and further strengthening the nation’s defense preparedness.

In addition to the achievements in the Tapas-BH MALE drone category, India has recently taken a significant step towards enhancing its defense capabilities by granting the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for 31 MQ 9B Predator drones. The estimated cost for these advanced drones exceeds $3 billion for the Indian armed forces.

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Furthermore, a series of tests were conducted on 27 June at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka, where the indigenous UAV showcased its capabilities to the Indian armed forces for the first time. These tests allowed the armed forces to witness the performance and potential of the indigenous UAV firsthand.

The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has confirmed that the Tapas UAV is now prepared for the crucial phase of user evaluation trials. During these trials, the functional and operational capabilities of the drone will be assessed in real-world situations. The evaluation process will subject the drone to different altitudes and external parameters to ensure its ability to withstand the rigorous demands of military operations.

The user evaluation trials play a crucial role in determining the suitability and effectiveness of the Tapas UAV for integration into the Indian armed forces. Through these trials, the armed forces will evaluate the drone’s performance, reliability, endurance, payload capacity, and overall operational readiness in diverse scenarios and mission profiles.

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The successful completion of user evaluation trials will pave the way for the induction and deployment of the Tapas UAV in the Indian armed forces, bolstering the nation’s defense capabilities in areas such as surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, and intelligence gathering.

The progress made in the development of indigenous UAV technology, as demonstrated by the Tapas UAV, showcases India’s commitment to self-reliance and innovation in the defense sector. By conducting user evaluation trials, India aims to ensure that its armed forces have access to advanced and capable UAV systems that meet their operational requirements effectively.

In summary, India’s decision to grant the AoN for 31 MQ 9B Predator drones and the ongoing user evaluation trials for the Tapas UAV represent significant advancements in the country’s defense capabilities. These developments highlight India’s determination to enhance its surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, strengthen its armed forces, and reinforce its position as a technologically advanced defense power in the global arena.

Tapas-BH represents India’s answer to fulfilling its Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Tracking, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) requirements. The ambitious project is a collaborative effort between the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a leading Indian aerospace and defense company under the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Despite facing some delays, the project was given high priority, resulting in an increased cost allocation from 1,540.74 crores to 1,786 crores in 2022, as per the revised estimates.

The user trials for Tapas-BH have already begun, with DRDO and the Indian Navy successfully conducting the transfer of command-and-control capabilities of the UAV. This collaboration highlights the importance of integrating the capabilities of the Tapas-BH UAV with the Indian Navy’s operational requirements.

As the project progresses, DRDO intends to expand the scope of collaboration to include Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), another prominent Indian aerospace and defense company. The involvement of HAL will further enhance the expertise and resources dedicated to the development of Tapas-BH, ensuring its success and effectiveness.

The Tapas-BH 201 unmanned aerial vehicle has been specifically designed and developed to meet the ISTAR needs of the tri-services, encompassing intelligence gathering, surveillance operations, target acquisition, tracking, and reconnaissance missions. A key feature of the Tapas-BH UAV is its long endurance capability, with an effective command range of 1000 km. This extended range allows the UAV to operate in distant areas for extended periods, enabling comprehensive coverage and effective data collection.

By addressing the crucial element of long endurance and incorporating advanced command-and-control capabilities, Tapas-BH aims to fulfill the ISTAR requirements of the Indian armed forces. The UAV’s sophisticated design and operational capabilities will contribute significantly to enhancing India’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, surveillance operations, and overall situational awareness in diverse operational scenarios.

Technical specifications

TAPAS-BH, a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV, operates at an altitude of 30,000 ft and boasts an impressive endurance of 24 hours. Its primary focus is on delivering advanced intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities to the military, utilizing top-grade military Electro-Optical (EO) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payloads. This integration significantly enhances image quality and improves the effectiveness of ISTAR operations across diverse terrains.

Having successfully completed its inaugural flight in November 2016, TAPAS-BH has demonstrated its capabilities at different altitudes for several hours. With a range of 250 km, it can accommodate various payloads weighing up to 350 kg, making it a versatile platform. The UAV features a wingspan of 20.6 meters, providing stability and maneuverability during missions.

TAPAS-BH is based on the Rustom-2 platform, which was initially designed to cater to the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements of the Indian armed forces. The drone also benefits from the utilization of the Indian GPS GAGAN system, developed by ISRO, which enhances its wide-area coverage and enables the detection and identification of small targets.

One notable technological improvement in the Tapas-BH is its implementation of SATCOM (Satellite Communication), which offers superior communication capabilities compared to regular line-of-sight communication. This advancement expands its operational range and improves connectivity. Additionally, the drone addresses crucial aspects of automatic landing and take-off, which were missing in the initial prototype of the Rustom-2 platform.

In terms of its classification, Rustom-II stands in the same league as Israel Aerospace Industries’ HERON, demonstrating its capabilities as a formidable MALE UAV.

As the Tapas-BH concludes its final stage of trials, its indigenous development becomes paramount for the Indian armed forces. The deployment of this advanced UAV not only saves significant costs but also enhances the military’s operational capabilities. Its advanced features, improved range, and technological advancements make Tapas-BH a valuable asset for the Indian armed forces, empowering them with enhanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.



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