SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
The Tactical Aerial Platform for Advanced Surveillance (TAPAS) 201 Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), developed indigenously, is now set for user evaluation trials. Insider sources indicate that these trials are expected to be mere formalities, as most of the developmental trials were closely monitored by a Tri-Services team from the Armed Forces.
The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) anticipates that user trials will be completed by mid-2024. TAPAS 201 has successfully demonstrated the desired capabilities outlined by the Tri-Service, and production partnerships have been established with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) for the MALE UAV.
DRDO officials have confirmed that the TAPAS 201 UAV has showcased the sought-after capabilities identified by the Tri-Services. The collaboration between DRDO, HAL, and BEL will ensure the production of the MALE UAV. The completion of user trials will pave the way for formal orders. DRDO expects combined orders for the TAPAS 201 to exceed 100 units in the coming years. Initially, the Tri-Service requirements will result in a split of orders for 40-30-30 units, catering to the respective armed forces’ needs.
ADE (Aeronautical Development Establishment), based in Bengaluru, is also actively working on an armed variant of the TAPAS 201 known as the Archer-NG MALE UAV. The Archer-NG will feature a single-engine twin-boom architecture in a pusher configuration, employing similar technological advancements as the TAPAS 201.
TAPAS 201, conceptualized and developed by ADE, serves as a versatile UAV capable of executing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions across all three branches of the Indian armed forces. With an impressive endurance of 24 to 30 hours, the TAPAS 201 can effectively carry out extended missions, providing valuable real-time data and situational awareness to support military operations.
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