Taranis combat UAV unveiled

WARTON, England, 14 July 2010. The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence released a prototype unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) -- Taranis. Designed by BAE Systems in Warton, England, the demonstrator concept unmanned aircraft will test the possibility of developing an autonomous radar-evading UCAV that ultimately would be capable of striking targets precisely at long range, even on other continents. The UCAV prototype will help British military authorities learn more about the potential capabilities, as well as about the technical and manufacturing challenges, of unmanned combat air systems. Flight trials will be next year, BAE Systems officials say.

Posted by John McHale
Posted by John McHale

WARTON, England, 14 July 2010. The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence released a prototype unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) -- Taranis. Designed by BAE Systems in Warton, England, the demonstrator concept unmanned aircraft will test the possibility of developing an autonomous radar-evading unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that ultimately would be capable of striking targets precisely at long range, even on other continents.

Named after the Celtic god of thunder, the stealthy UCAV prototype will help British military authorities learn more about the potential capabilities, as well as about the technical and manufacturing challenges, of unmanned combat air systems. Flight trials will be next year, BAE Systems officials say.

The Taranis development team is described as "an informal partnership" among the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems headquartered in Farnborough, England; , Rolls Royce Group plc in London; , QinetiQ Group plc in London; and GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio.

Should such systems enter into service, they will at all times be under the control of highly trained military crews on the ground, BAE Systems officials say. "Taranis has been three and a half years in the making and is the product of more than a million man-hours. It represents a significant step forward in this country's fast-jet capability," says Nigel Whitehead, group managing director of the BAE Systems Programmes & Support business.

“Taranis is a truly trailblazing project, adds Gerald Howarth, the United Kingdom minister for international security strategy. "The first of its kind in the U.K., it reflects the best of our nation’s advanced design and technology skills, and is a leading program on the global stage.”

For more information contact the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence online at www.mod.uk, BAE Systems at www.baesystems.com, QinetiQ at www.qinetiq.com, or GE Aviation at www.geae.com.

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