TAPAS BH-201 tested with SATCOM
Rustom-II (Tapas), the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Aeronautical Development Establishment flew in the Satellite Communication (SATCOM) mode for the first time.
Sources at DRDO headquarters confirm that the UAV also flew with the long range electro optical payload. They claim that these two capabilities are not available on the Heron and Searcher UAVs being operated by the tri-Services now.
The future of this UAV programme is still unclear, with the Services yet to give any firm commitment. Sources say the Tapas team is determined to prove several new capabilities during the next set of trials.
“TAPAS 201, a multi-mission UAV is being developed to carry out the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the three Armed Forces with an endurance of 24 hours. It is capable to carry different combinations of payloads like Medium Range Electro Optic (MREO), Long Range Electro Optic (LREO), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communication Intelligence (COMINT) and Situational Awareness Payloads (SAP) to perform missions during day and night.”
Tapas is a prop driven UAV, somewhat similar to drones like the MQ 9 Reaper,Rustom 2 will carry out surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the armed forces with an endurance of 24 hours, officials said.
Reports Suggest that Various weapons like SANT Standoff range Anti Tank Missile are being developed for Tapas 201 a.k.a. Rustom 2. Also payloads like a Synthetic Aperture Radar which is meant for long range scanning and observation of ground plus various Electro-Optic payload are also developed and will be tested in upcoming trails.