DRDO's TAPAS UAV Crashes in Karnataka During Experimental Flight

  • 22 Aug 2023

On 20th August, 2023, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) crashed in Karnataka's Chitradurga during an experimental flight.

Key Points

  • TAPAS UAV Development: The TAPAS UAV is in the final stages of developmental trials and is a crucial element of India's quest for indigenous military drones.
  • Transfer of Command and Control: DRDO, in collaboration with the Indian Navy, has already conducted user trials involving the transfer of command-and-control capabilities for the TAPAS UAV.
  • Importance of TAPAS Trials: The successful trials of TAPAS are essential for fulfilling India's armed forces' Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Tracking, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) requirements.
  • Long-endurance drones like TAPAS are vital for border surveillance, especially amid rising tensions along the Chinese border.
  • TAPAS-BH Features: TAPAS-BH is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV with an operating altitude of 30,000 ft and a 24-hour endurance.
  • It incorporates high-grade military EO Electro-Optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payloads, enhancing ISTAR capabilities.
  • Payload and Range: TAPAS-BH has a 250 km range and can carry payloads weighing up to 350 kg. Its wingspan measures 20.6 meters.
  • Development Collaboration: The project is developed by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in collaboration with DRDO.
  • Reducing Dependency on Imports: TAPAS development is crucial for advancing armed drones with enhanced capabilities, reducing India's reliance on imported ISTAR drones.