Tapas drone prototype developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) crashed on Sunday at a village in Karnataka for unknown reasons.
“TAPAS UAV was undergoing an experimental flight trial today morning from ATR Challakere, Karnataka. During the flight, a technical snag was encountered and the UAV crashed in a nearby farmland. The technical reason is being investigated and there is no collateral damage," DRDO posted on X (Formerly Twitter).
The crashed drone was one of five Tapas prototypes that made a test flight ahead of user tests scheduled to begin soon.
Visuals from the crash site showed that the damaged UAV and its equipment side lay scattered on the field.
TAPAS can be used to fulfill the military’s ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance) requirements. It is capable of operating at altitudes up to 28,000 feet for over 18 hours. The TAPAS has a 20.6m wingspan, top-speed of 225kmph, and a command range of 1,000km via satellite-based communication system. The drone is built to carry a variety of payloads up to a maximum of 350kg.
The platform can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans. It comes fitted with sensors and cameras that allow it to capture high-resolution images and videos.
The data collected by the drone can be transmitted to a ground control station where it can be analyzed and used to make informed decisions.