No combat role for Tapas: DRDO
Bengaluru: No combat role for Tapas (Rustom-2) UAV, which had its maiden flight recently. DRDO Chairman S Christopher told media persons here on Sunday that TAPAS-BH-201(Tactical Advanced Platform for Aerial Surveillance-Beyond Horizon-201) will be in a non-combat role.
“Media reports are incorrect. Tapas is an UAV and not UCAV,” Christopher said. He said the UAV is developed for surveillance purpose only at a total cost of Rs 1,500 crore. “We have to make 10 platforms as part of the project. It was a challenging mission for the team, which consisted of youngsters,” said Tapas Programme Director A P V S Prasad.
On a specific query on the Final Operational Clearance for Tejas, Aeronautical Development Agency head Cmde C D Balaji (Retd) said the process will be completed next year.
“We hope that Tejas would get the FOC by mid of 2017. The BVR Derby missile will be fired again next month. The gun integration work is completed. The air-to-air refuel ling probe too will be tested next year,” Balaji said.
DRDO DG (Aero) C P Ramanarayanan said LCA with Kaveri engine might fly in 2018. He said DRDO is already in consultation with Snecma. Already Rs 2,105 crore has been spent on the project. Another Rs 600 crore is likely to be needed for the testing phase.
On Nirbhay missile, Aeronautical Development Establishment Director M V K V Prasad said a low-flight trial will be held next month.
“This will be followed by two more flights. Work on the air variant is on,” Prasad added.