Despite the recent crash of the TAPAS UAV during an experimental flight trial near ATR Challakere, Karnataka, plans for the TAPAS UAV's user trials remain unchanged. These trials, set to begin later this year, will proceed as originally scheduled, as reported by idrw.org. The crash, the second for TAPAS in four years, appears unrelated to technical defects, reaffirming the commitment to advancing the program.
Developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the TAPAS UAV has four operational prototypes, excluding the crashed one, all designated for upcoming user trials. Named TAPAS-BH, the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV can operate at 30,000 feet with a remarkable endurance of 24 hours. Its upgraded version features satcom equipment for extended range operations.
Noteworthy are its military-grade Electro-Optical (EO) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payloads, significantly enhancing imagery quality for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Tracking, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. Despite challenges, the Indian Armed Forces are committed to the TAPAS UAV, planning to procure around 97 units across different branches. The Indian Army aims to acquire nearly 60 units to address its specific operational requirements.