Friday, February 10, 2023

India’s first indigenous advanced drone to debut during Aero India next week

New Delhi: Next week will mark the public debut of India's first indigenous advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for strategic reconnaissance and surveillance. By June or July, a second indigenous weaponized drone is also expected to conduct its first flight test.

The DRDO-developed Tapas-BH (tactical aerial platform for advanced surveillance-beyond horizon) drone will stream live the aerial and static exhibition of several aircraft during the Aero-India show in Bengaluru. Thus far, over 180 flights have been recorded on Tapas-BH.

“Tapas-BH will showcase its capabilities, which includes operating at altitudes up to 28,000-feet with an endurance of over 18 hours. The medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) is DRDO’s solution for ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) requirements of the Army, IAF and Navy,” as per a defence ministry official quoted by TOI.

The Rustom-2 drone, also known as Tapas-BH, has a 20.6-metre wing span, a top speed of 225 kmph, and "a command range" of 1,000 km via satellite-based communication. The military forces are currently preparing to conduct a formal user-trial evaluation of the UAV, which can fly at night as well.

Then, according to a source, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., Bharat Electronics, and other companies might start mass producing it.

According to reports, the smart anti-airfield weapon (SAAW) and anti-tank guided missile-capable Archer-NG (next generation) armed drone would undergo its first flight test between June and July.

10/02/23 Anurakti Sharma/Times Now

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