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The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has achieved a significant milestone with the completion of the 200th flight of the TAPAS (Tactical Airborne Platform for Aerial Surveillance) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The TAPAS UAV was recently demonstrated to a Tri-services team at ATR Chitradurga on June 27, 2023, marking its debut before the esteemed group. The indigenous development efforts showcased in the UAV were highly appreciated by the Tri-services team, reflecting the growing recognition of India’s self-reliance in defence technology.

DRDO took to Twitter to share the news, stating, “Tri-services team appreciated the indigenous efforts for the development of UAV. TAPAS is now ready for user evaluation trials,” signifying a major step forward towards potential integration into the Indian Armed Forces. The user evaluation trials will allow the armed forces to assess the performance and capabilities of the TAPAS UAV in real-world scenarios.

TAPAS-BH, the variant under evaluation, is classified as a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV. It boasts an impressive operating altitude of 30,000 feet and an endurance of 24 hours, making it capable of long-duration missions. Equipped with Electro-Optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar payloads, the TAPAS UAV can gather intelligence and conduct surveillance over a range of 250 kilometres. It also possesses a maximum payload capacity of 350 kilograms, enabling it to carry a diverse range of mission-specific equipment.

The TAPAS UAV has been developed as a versatile platform dedicated to Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations for the Indian Armed Forces. It’s high-altitude capabilities and extended endurance make it a valuable asset for gathering critical information and monitoring activities in various operational scenarios.

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