CHELTENHAM, U.K., 12 Dec. 2006. Smiths Aerospace, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, has teamed with BAE Systems to develop an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) technology demonstrator project called Taranis.
Under a contract awarded by the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD), BAE Systems will be the industry lead and prime contractor of a joint program to develop Taranis.
BAE Systems, Smiths Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, and QinetiQ, will work alongside MoD staff and scientists to develop and fly Taranis. Smiths Aerospace will provide the complete electrical power system for Taranis, along with its fuel gauging capability.
Named after the Celtic God of Thunder, Taranis will explore and demonstrate how emerging technologies and systems can deliver battle-winning capabilities for the U.K. armed forces.
The four-year Taranis project, part of the U.K. Government's Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicle (Experimental) Program [SUAV(E)], will result in a UAV with fully integrated autonomous systems and low observable features.
About the size of a BAE Systems Hawk, Taranis will provide the MoD with experimental evidence on the potential capabilities of this class of UAV and help to inform decisions on the future mix of manned and unmanned fast jet aircraft.
Ground testing of Taranis is expected to take place in early 2009 with the first flight trials taking place in 2010.