Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) is under pressure to complete a long-delayed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programme as it nears its final milestones that will clear the way for production of the TAPAS BH-201 drone and Archer UAVs.
As the pressure mounts to complete user trials by the end of August 2023, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will begin delivering six airframes to conduct evaluation trials of the TAPAS BH-201 drone in the coming months.
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The Archer UAV, an armed variant of the Rustom-I SR-UAV, is currently in production, with four units to be delivered to conduct further weapons trials of the UAV.
The Archer UAV has already demonstrated its flight characteristics, but it is still awaiting trials of the weapons system developed by DRDO labs, which includes the dropping of dumb bombs and the firing of precision guided missiles.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is considering allowing full Transfer of Technology (ToT) of the TAPAS BH-201 and Archer UAVs to private sector companies interested in producing these UAVs for the Armed Forces to speed up deliveries of them.