SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK
Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) near Challakere in Chitradurga district which is all set to be inaugurated tomorrow by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley already has a Guest eagerly waiting for the new facility to be opened up. TAPAS 201 PT-2 is the 2nd prototype of TAPAS 201 which already has reached the facility to carry out its first maiden flight soon.
Maiden flight of the 1st prototype of TAPAS 201 (RUSTOM – II) was successfully carried out last year from Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) which is new facility developed for testing of UAVs and manned aircraft.
TAPAS 201 PT-2 comes with a reduced weight of 320 kgs. after DRDO identified 8 target areas which were over engineered but TAPAS 201 is still overweight and DRDO will be incorporating many other changes which will further reduce its weight in newer prototypes.
DRDO plans to develop 10 TAPAS 201 Prototypes in fast track mode so that it can be used to fast track flight trials of different variants of UAV for all different branches of Indian armed force. PT-5 to PT-8 will be used to carry out user evaluation trials which will have payloads like electro-optics, synthetic aperture radar, multifunction phased array radar, electronic intelligence and satcom.
TAPAS 201 has a 21 m wingspan, a capacity payload of 350 kg, an endurance of over 24 hours, and an operational ceiling of 10,660 m (34,776 feet). TAPAS 201 is capable of carrying medium- and long-range optic sensors, synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence, communication intelligence, and situational awareness payloads for round-the-clock operations.
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