DRDO’s TAPAS Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Crashes During Test Flight in Karnataka Village

DRDO's TAPAS Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Crashes During Test Flight in Karnataka Village

In a significant setback for the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) experienced a crash during a test flight in a rural Karnataka village’s agricultural fields. The incident unfolded on Sunday when the UAV, identified as TAPAS 07 A-14, crashed outside Vaddikere village in Hiriyur taluk. The drone’s unfortunate mishap has prompted an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the crash.

According to reports from the news agency PTI, the UAV’s trial flight ended in disaster as it descended into the agricultural fields, resulting in a loud crash. The village residents swiftly gathered at the crash site, and local authorities were promptly informed about the incident. Images and videos captured at the scene depict the UAV, also known as TAPAS, in a state of complete disarray, with its equipment scattered across the field.

Defence officials have acknowledged the crash, stating, “A Tapas drone being developed by the DRDO crashed during a trial flight in a village of Chitradurga district, Karnataka.” The Defence Research Development Organisation is currently engaged in briefing the Defence Ministry about the mishap, while an investigation is underway to ascertain the precise factors contributing to the crash.

TAPAS, an acronym for Tactical Aerial Platform for Advanced Surveillance – Beyond Horizon, is a significant endeavor by the DRDO. It represents a homegrown medium altitude long endurance class unmanned aerial vehicle. The drone made its debut appearance during the Aero India air show and aviation display in 2023, where its capabilities were demonstrated through both static and aerial showcases.

The UAV addresses critical Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Tracking, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) requirements of the armed forces. With an impressive flight endurance exceeding 18 hours, TAPAS can operate at altitudes reaching up to 28,000 feet, showcasing its versatility and adaptability to different missions.

Previously known as Rustom-II, TAPAS is designed to function autonomously or under remote control, following pre-programmed flight plans. This remarkable flexibility enables its utilization in a variety of conditions, including both daylight and nighttime operations.

As DRDO delves into the investigation surrounding this unfortunate incident, the organization’s commitment to advancing India’s defense capabilities remains steadfast, even in the face of challenges. The incident highlights the complexities and uncertainties inherent in the development and testing of cutting-edge technologies for the country’s defense needs.

Sources By Agencies

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