KARWAR: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy successfully demonstrated the transfer of command and control capabilities of TAPAS unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The TAPAS UAV took off from Chitradurga’s Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) and flew 285 km and landed successfully on INS Subhadra. According to the Navy, the vessel was 148km off the Karwar Naval base. A ground control station and two ship data terminals were installed on INS Subhadra to control the UAV.
The UAV took off at 7.35 am from the ATR and soared to a height of 20,000 feet and flew for three-and-a-half hours non-stop to land on INS Subhadra. “After this test, the UAV flew back to the ATR safely,” said the Navy.
“This test is called C2 -- command and control capabilities -- to check the ability of the operator to control the drone’s flight, sensors and payloads. C2 capabilities are essential for the safe and effective operations of a drone. This is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone, which has a flight endurance of 24 to 48 hours,” informed Girish Linganna, a Bengaluru-based defence expert.
TAPAS was designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and can be used for patrolling and intelligence gathering for all the three forces. These UAVs are considered the Indian version of Predator drones of the United States.
They are equipped with electro optics sensors to capture images and videos both during the day and night, long-range electro optics sensors to take images and videos from long distances that can be used for surveillance and reconnaissance missions and provide information about enemy movements and activities, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) that uses a technique called synthetic aperture to create high-resolution images that can be used in all-weather conditions to obtain ground surface details like terrain features and objects, electronic intelligence, communication intelligence and other features.