Indian Navy, Air Force show interest in ‘Made in India’ Tapas drones: Officials

Soon after the DRDO dismissed reports about shelving the Tapas drone programme, defence officials said that the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force have shown interest in the capabilities of the ‘Made in India’ drone system.

Indian Air Force has officially communicated its interest to the DRDO, expressing a desire to explore the capabilities of the indigenous drone system, defence officials told India Today TV.

Simultaneously, the Indian Navy has also shown interest in utilising these drones for surveillance and other roles, particularly in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory, they said.

The Indian Navy is likely to receive two Tapas drones from the DRDO inventory for trials and performance assessment. Based on the outcome of these trials, the Navy may consider placing orders for 10-12 of these drones for operational roles, they asserted.

Despite the Tapas drone being reclassified from the mission mode category of projects, India remains committed to the development of a fully indigenous medium-altitude and long-endurance drone.

The Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) laboratory is actively working on enhancing the drone’s designs and increasing its power to better meet the service requirements of altitude and endurance. The drone has already undergone successful tests, reaching an altitude of 28,000 feet and demonstrating a flight duration of over 18 hours during trials.

DRDO officials emphasised that ongoing efforts at the ADE laboratory are focused on refining the drone’s capabilities to align with the operational needs that were not entirely met in the recent evaluations.

Published By:

Ashutosh Acharya

Published On:

Feb 14, 2024

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