Taranis (Or Tyrannis): Unmanned Stealth Jet Takes Flight

Looming ominously like a space ship from Star Wars, this is the future of unmanned flight.
Defence firm BAE Systems today officially unveiled its first ever high-tech unmanned stealth jet.
The Taranis, named after the Celtic god of thunder, is about the same size as a Hawk jet and is equipped with stealth equipment and an ‘autonomous’ artificial intelligence system.
The plane will test the possibility of developing the first ever autonomous stealthy Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) that would ultimately be capable of precisely striking targets at long range, even in another continent.
The trial aircraft cost £143 million pounds to construct and spearheads BAE’s drive to convince the Ministry of Defence to invest in the next generation of unmanned aircraft.
Almost invisible to ground radar, it is designed to travel at high jet speeds and cover massive distances between continents.
The plane is built to carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance on enemy territory using onboard sensors.
And it has been designed to carry a cache of weapons – including bombs and missiles -, giving it a potential long-range strike capability.
It can be controlled from anywhere in the world with satellite communications.
Experts say the cutting-edge design is at the forefront of world technology and as advanced as any US development.
The plane began development in December 2006, and is intended to prove the UK’s ability to produce a stealthy UAV.
Taranis will be stealthy, fast, able to carry out use a number of on-board weapons systems and be able to defend itself against manned and other unmanned enemy aircraft.


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