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The Indian Navy is set to receive a boost in its maritime surveillance capabilities with the indigenous Tapas MALE (Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance) UAV. According to reports, the Navy has decided to place an initial order for four units of the Tapas, developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

These Tapas UAVs will be maritime variants, equipped with navy-specific sensors and electronic warfare (EW) suites. This will enable them to perform critical tasks such as patrolling vast swathes of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and keeping a watchful eye on surface and subsurface activities.

Adding another layer of sophistication, the DRDO is also developing a dedicated naval application for the Tapas. This application is expected to include a plug-in Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and other advanced systems. These systems will enhance the Tapas’ ability to detect and track both surface and subsurface vessels, providing valuable intelligence to the Navy.

With the deal expected to be finalized later this year, deliveries of the Tapas UAVs are anticipated by early 2026. The entire procurement process is projected to be concluded by late 2027. Speculation suggests that these initial four Tapas will be deployed at the strategic Naval Airbase in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a strategically important location for Indian maritime security.

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