London (UPI) Jul 15, 2010
Looking like an object straight out of a science fiction movie, the unmanned military jet Taranis by BAE Systems sounds in the future of warfare, the British company claims.
It resembles a large steel trapezoid, is around 40 feet long and potentially deadly: Named after the Celtic god of thunder, Taranis was unveiled by the British Defense Ministry this week.
Nigel Whitehead, a senior official at BAE Systems, the main developer of the new stealth drone, told the Financial Times that the Taranis "is a prelude to the next generation of fighting capability."
The Taranis' main goal is to fly intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions while its ground-based crew is able to control the aircraft from anywhere in the world.
BAE Systems hasn't released information regarding the speed, maximum flying altitude, and flying distance of Taranis -- that's classified. But the company says the drone, which can be armed with missiles as well as bombs, is capable of attacking as far away as "in another continent."
"It will be able to hold an adversary at continuous risk of attack; to penetrate deep inside hostile territory, find a target, facilitate either kinetic or non-kinetic influence upon it, assess the effect achieved and provide intelligence back to commanders," the company writes.
The first flight trials are to take place next year. Right now, the Taranis is maneuvered on the ground to reduce the safety risks linked to testing in the air.
BAE Systems is eager to produce a new product for the quickly growing drone market. Drones are ideally suited to hit targets in remote regions and are frequently used by Western forces to strike against terrorists hiding in the mountainous border region linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The company says the drone's fully autonomous intelligent system builds on electronics and control technology proven in other BAE Systems unmanned platforms such as Corax, Raven, Herti and Mantis.
The prototype, designed and built since December 2006 with 1 million hours of work, is valued at more than $200 million. Other companies that have worked on the program include Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ and GE Aviation.
Jointly funded by the British Defense Ministry and the British military industry, the total contract is valued at $220 million.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony at BAE Systems in Warton, Lancashire, British Minister for International Security Strategy Gerald Howarth, called Taranis a "truly trailblazing" project.
"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," he said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
UAV News - Suppliers and Technology
India eyeing UCAVs in global market
New Delhi (UPI) Jul 13, 2010
Indian armed forces have entered the global market in search of stealthy, unmanned combat air vehicles. Local news reports suggest that the military authorities have requested information from defense companies in Europe, Israel, the United States and Russia about the aircraft. Defense News reported that the information request concerned unmanned combat air vehicles with "low rad ... read more
Satellites Track Two-Stage Interceptor In Missile Defense Test|
US, Poland sign modified missile shield deal
THAAD Weapon System Achieves Lowest Endo Intercept To Date
Bulgaria defence minister in US for talks on missile defence
S.Korea develops long-range cruise missile: report
India's Astra tested for night operations
LaBarge Awarded $1.2 M For RAM Guided Missile Launch System
Navy Awards Raytheon Contracts For Standard Missile-6
Britain unveils new super-drone
Solar drone stays aloft for record 7 days: company
India eyeing UCAVs in global market
Unmanned Phantom Eye Demonstrator Unveiled
Savi Ships Compact Mobile Tracking Systems For Marine Afghan Forces
Army Plans Network Integration Exercise
Gilat To Provide Broadband Satellite For Homeland Security In Asia
Critical Design Review For U.S. Navy CSD Program
Lockheed Martin Delivers First Mid-Life Upgrade P-3 Orion
US Army Awards GD $30 M For Stryker Double-V Hull Production
Taranis Combat Aircraft Thunders Into View
US fitness guru urges yoga for fat soldiers
L-3 wins $200M Air Force systems deal
Russia lands tank upgrade deal with Libya
Canada Selects LockMart F-35 For Next-Gen Fighter
Canada to buy 65 Lockheed Martin fighter jets
Russia Sets Up Four Strategic Commands
Taiwan magician casts spell in China
NATO, Russia split on efforts to relaunch security dialogue
No decision for Brazil, Turkey to join Iran talks: diplomats
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|