In a remarkable achievement, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy successfully showcased the transfer of command and control capabilities of the Tapas Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

The demonstration involved commanding the UAV from a distant ground station to the onboard INS Subhadra, a warship situated 148 kilometers away from the Karwar naval base.

The significant event occurred on June 16, 2023. During the demonstration, the Tapas UAV operated flawlessly at an altitude of 20,000 feet above sea level. It completed a 3-hour and 30-minute flight, with the INS Subhadra assuming control of the UAV's operations for a duration of 40 minutes.

The Tapas UAV took off at 07:35 hours from the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Chitradurga and covered a distance of 285 kilometers to reach the Karwar naval base.

To facilitate the seamless control of the UAV, one Ground Control Station and two Ship Data Terminals were installed on board the INS Subhadra, as mentioned by the DRDO in a statement. Following the successful trial, the Tapas UAV safely landed back at the ATR.

Equipped with advanced sensors and cameras, the TAPAS UAV can capture high-resolution images and videos. The collected data is transmitted to a ground control station for further analysis.

The Tapas UAV, developed by DRDO, is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle capable of operating at altitudes of up to 28,000 feet with an endurance of over 18 hours. It was publicly showcased during its first flight at Aero India 2023 in Bengaluru earlier this year.

Designed to fulfil the Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Tracking & Reconnaissance (ISTAR) requirements of the tri-services, the Tapas UAV can effectively operate in both day and night conditions. The UAV can be controlled remotely and also has the ability to execute pre-programmed flight plans autonomously with precision and flexibility.