DRDO carries out the transfer of command capabilities of TAPAS-BH UAV

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Navy successfully carried out the transfer of command and control capabilities of TAPAS-BH UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).

The demonstration that took place recently involved commanding the UAV from a distant ground station to the onboard INS Subhadra, a warship situated 148 km away from Karnataka’s Karwar naval base.

Further, the UAV operated flawlessly at an altitude of 20,000 feet above sea level. As per DRDO, it completed a three-hour and 30-minute flight, with the INS Subhadra assuming control of TAPAS operations for a duration of 40 minutes. One ground control station and two ship data terminals were installed on board the INS Subhadra.

Following the successful trial, TAPAS safely landed back at the ATR.

Worth mentioning, a total of 76 TAPAS-BH drones will be inducted initially into the Indian Armed Forces; out of which 60 is for the Indian Army, 12 for Indian Air Force and 4 for Indian Navy.

The project started at the cost of Rs 1,540.74 crore but later revised to Rs 1,786 crore as of 2022.


TAPAS-BH or Tactical Airborne Platform for Aerial Surveillance-Beyond Horizon is a Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE UAV) with an operating altitude of 30000 ft, endurance of 24 hrs with EO & SAR payloads and a range of 250 kms.

It can carry a variety of payloads up to a maximum of 350 kgs. Further, the UAV is designed to perform Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance missions for Indian Armed Forces.

Its mission requirements are to provide continuous wide area coverage and yet be able to identify small targets. Rustom-II is comparable in the same class such as IAI’s HERON. 

The UAV is indigenously developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment, a DRDO lab, and will be manufactured by DPSUs Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).