DRDO carries out successful maiden flight of TAPAS 201 (RUSTOM – II)
The DRDO has successfully carried out the maiden flight of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV, TAPAS 201 (RUSTOM-II) from Aeronautical Test Range (ATR), Chitradurga. TAPAS 201 is India’s indigenously developed long-endurance combat-capable drone.
- Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) has designed and developed TAPAS 201 with HAL-BEL as the production partners. ADE is the Bengaluru-based lab of DRDO.
- The UAV weighing two tonnes accomplished the operations like take-off, bank, level flight and landing among others.
- The UAV is capable of carrying different combinations of payloads to perform missions during day and night like Medium Range Electro Optic (MREO), Long Range Electro Optic (LREO), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT) and Situational Awareness Payloads (SAP).
- ATR at Chitradurga has been newly developed for the testing of UAVs and manned aircraft.
- The UAV will undergo further trials for validating the design parameters.
- The test flight has given a fillip to India’s development programme for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
- Rustom-II has an endurance of 24 hours. It is fully capable of conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions for the armed forces. It is also capable of being used as an unmanned armed combat vehicle on the lines of the US’s Predator drone.
- Rustom II is the first R&D prototype UAV which has undergone certification and qualification for the first flight from the Center for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) and Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA).
UAVs operate without a human pilot. UAVs are commonly used in both the military and police forces in situations where the risk of sending a human piloted aircraft is unacceptable, or the situation makes using a manned aircraft impractical.