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The indigenously-developed Tactical Aerial Platform for Advanced Surveillance (TAPAS) 201 Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be subjected to weight reduction measures to address its current overweight condition. The UAV is currently unable to climb beyond 28,000 feet (8,534.4 meters), falling short of the Indian Tri-Services’ mandated 30,000-foot operational ceiling.

Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) will collaborate with private sector companies to achieve a weight reduction of 150-200 kilograms. Additionally, efforts will be made to minimize drag, which has been hindering the UAV’s ability to maintain the required cruising speed for prolonged endurance.

The Tapas UAV will also receive an upgraded, locally developed engine, enhancing its overall performance. Currently, the Tapas-BH drone, formerly known as Rustom-2, has a maximum speed of 225 kmph, a wingspan of 20.6 meters, and a satellite-based communication range of 1,000 kilometres.

The weight reduction measures and engine upgrades are expected to significantly improve the TAPAS UAV’s capabilities, enabling it to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Tri-Services.

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