SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK
ADE which has started working on a High-altitude long-endurance (HALE) that will be a much improved unmanned aerial system (UAS) that will be able to operate at 45000 ft Altitude and will have a 30 h Endurance has been told to fast track the program and soon the prototype will be assembled. New HAL UAS under development will have four times more payload carrying capability than the Tapas which will allow it to carry multi-mission Payloads like Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Maritime Patrol Radar (MPR), COMINT, and Electro-Optical Payload.
Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) is also on the verge of completing the final round of flight trials of the TAPAS BH-201 where it already has achieved 28500 ft Altitude and 18 h Endurance, which was a key milestone that was required before it can be cleared for production. idrw.org has been told that pre-production TAPAS still suffers from overweight issues but to tackle this issue production variants will be powered by a high-powered diesel engine that is already under development with a private firm.
DRDO/ADE has been tight-lipped about the development of the Armed TAPAS variant but it seems more or less the idea of equipping MALE-Class TAPAS with weapons is on the backburner with the focus now shifting on the Archer (Rustom-1) and HALE-Class UAS that will also have an armed variant in near future.
India is also working to develop a HALE-Class UAS that will be powered by a medium thrust turbofan engine as a separate program along with a Loyal wingman program. FUFA and Ghatak are two separate autonomous stealthy unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV) that are also in development.
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