IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


28th June, 2024 Defence



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  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) has made a notable proposal to the central government to bolster its native unmanned surveillance capabilities by acquiring 10 TAPAS drones.
  • Six of these domestically manufactured drones are earmarked for the Indian Air Force, with the remaining four slated for allocation to the Indian Navy.


TAPAS Drones


  • The Tactical Airborne Platform for Aerial Surveillance Beyond Horizon-201, or Tapas BH-201, is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) drone.

 Development and Classification:

  • Origin and Purpose: Developed by DRDO's Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), the TAPAS BH-201 (formerly Rustom-II) is designed to meet India's ISTAR requirements across its armed forces.

 Manufacturing Collaboration

  • Strategic Consortium: Bharat Electronics Limited and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited collaborate in manufacturing these drones, underscoring India's commitment to enhancing indigenous defence manufacturing capabilities.

Key Features and Capabilities

  • Operational Specifications: Operates at an altitude of 30,000 feet for up to 24 hours.
  • Payload and Range: Payload capacity of up to 350 kg and a range of 250 km.
  • Technological Advancements:
    • Advanced aerodynamics and digital flight controls.
    • Equipped with medium and long-range electro-optic payloads and synthetic aperture radar for all-weather, day-night operations.

 Multiple roles of TAPAS drone:

  • Surveillance and Reconnaissance: Provides real-time intelligence gathering over vast areas, enhancing situational awareness.
  • Target Acquisition: Helps in identifying and marking targets for precision strikes, improving operational effectiveness.
  • Communication Relay: Acts as a communication hub, facilitating seamless connectivity between ground forces and command centers.
  • Battlefield Monitoring: Monitors troop movements and activities in remote or hostile environments, ensuring operational security.
  • Search and Rescue: Assists in locating and rescuing personnel in distress, especially in inaccessible or hazardous terrain.
  • Border Patrol: Conducts continuous surveillance along borders, enhancing border security and monitoring activities.




Q. Discuss the Strategic Importance of Drones in the Defence Sector, with Special Reference to India.(150 Words)(10 Marks)