An unmanned drone, known as Tapas, belonging to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) unfortunately crashed in a farming area near a village in Chitradurga, Karnataka, on Sunday morning, as reported by officials. The drone was undergoing a test flight when the accident happened. In Chitradurga district of Karnataka, a Tapas drone, currently under development by DRDO, crashed during a test flight, reported Defence officials.

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Tapas BH-201, formerly known as Rustom-II, is a drone designed for long-term aerial surveillance. It’s a strategic airborne gadget that can monitor areas beyond the horizon.

The drone measures a wingspan of 20.6 meters and can reach top speeds of 225 km/h. Its coverage range spans over 250 km thanks to a C Band frequency data link created by the Defence Electronics Application Laboratory (DEAL) at DRDO. Moreover, it can extend its range to over 1000 km using SATCOM with the Kᵤ Band frequency and GAGAN system.

Key Features of DRDO’s Indian-made UAV TAPAS

• The TAPAS-BH UAV, an abbreviation for Tactical Aerial Platform for Advanced Surveillance – Beyond Horizon, is a domestically produced medium-range, extended-duration unmanned flying vehicle.

• It was first introduced at the Aero India air show and aviation exhibition in 2023, where it displayed its functionalities in stationary and flying demonstrations.

• The DRDO developed TAPAS to cater to the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Tracking, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) needs of India’s military forces.

• Touting a flight stamina of more than 18 hours, the UAV is capable of functioning at heights as high as 28,000 feet.

• Known in the past as Rustom-II, TAPAS can work autonomously or be remotely controlled using pre-set flight plans, making it adaptable for both day and night operations.

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