UK Unveils Taranis UCAV Demonstrator

AIN Defense Perspective » July 16, 2010
Tight security surrounded the unveiling of Taranis on July 12, and little in ...
Tight security surrounded the unveiling of Taranis on July 12, and little in the way of technical detail was revealed. (BAE Systems)
July 16, 2010, 12:44 AM

Amid tight security, the Taranis unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) was unveiled at BAE Systems’ Warton airfield in England this week. Uncleared visitors were not allowed to approach the aircraft, but the stealth-driven configuration seemed unchanged from artists’ impressions released previously. The Taranis concept demonstrator is due to fly next year from an undisclosed overseas airbase. The UK Ministry of Defence has provided an additional £18 million ($27 million)–for a total of £142.5 million ($214 million)–to the project “to accommodate an additional program of work with a wider scope.” BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ and GE Aviation have provided a further £40 million ($60 million).

BAE Systems group managing director Nigel Whitehead said that the project is keeping alive in the UK the skills of full aircraft design capability. Trade-offs had been made to meet the limited budget, and “every feature of the project has represented a huge technical challenge.”

Gerald Howarth, UK Minister for International Security Strategy, said the project “reflects the best of our nation’s advanced design and technology skills.” But he would not commit to further funding beyond the demonstrator stage, and left open the possibility of European collaboration in full-scale development of a UCAV. AIN will report on Taranis in further detail in our on-site and online editions at the Farnborough International airshow.

Share this...

Please Register

In order to leave comments you will now need to be a registered user. This change in policy is to protect our site from an increased number of spam comments. Additionally, in the near future you will be able to better manage your AIN subscriptions via this registration system. If you already have an account, click here to log in. Otherwise, click here to register.