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The locally created Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), designated Tactical Aerial Platform for Advanced Surveillance (TAPAS) 201, is currently prepared for user evaluation trials.

TAPAS 201 is a multi-mission UAV with an endurance of 24 to 30 hours that was created and developed by Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). It is used to perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tasks for the three armed forces.

The Tri-Services team saw the TAPAS UAV for the first time on June 27 at the Chitradurga Aeronautical Test Range.

The Tri-Services team welcomed the domestic efforts made in the creation of the UAV, according to the Defence Research creation Organisation (DRDO), and it is now prepared for user evaluation trials.

The UAV demonstrated to the Tri-Services team also reached the milestone of 200 flights.

“On June 27, 2023, at ATR Chitradurga, the Tri-Services team witnessed the 200th flight of TAPAS UAV for the first time. The Tri-Services team was appreciative of domestic UAV development efforts. The DRDO announced that TAPAS is now prepared for user evaluation trials.

On June 16, 148 km from Karwar Naval Base, the DRDO and the Indian Navy successfully demonstrated moving TAPAS UAV command and control capabilities from a remote ground station to onboard INS Subhadra.

TAPAS 201, known as the Indian Predator drone, can carry various combinations of payloads, including medium- and long-range electro-optical, synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence, communication intelligence, and situational awareness payloads, in order to carry out missions both during the day and at night.

Earlier, Rustom was used to refer to the MALE UAV. Internal security organisations such as State police forces, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and Coast Guards are other potential users of Rustom in addition to the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Indian Navy.

The production partners for the MALE UAV will be Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL).

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