Oct 25, 2013

Unmanned Taranis has flown, MoD reveals

Breaking a long silence about the status of its BAE Systems-led Taranis unmanned combat air system technology demonstrator, the UK Ministry of Defence has revealed that initial flight tests have already taken place.
The debut is believed to have occurred at the Woomera test range in South Australia. BAE has used the site during previous unmanned flight test campaigns, including with its Mantis, Herti, Corax and Raven systems. In a 1 August trading statement, the company said the Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour-powered Taranis was due to fly “in the second half of the year”.
The MoD’s written submission also includes a detailed split of its currently 577-strong UAV inventory, which is predominantly used to support operations in Afghanistan. The total comprises five General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Reapers, eight leased Elbit Systems Hermes 450s, 222 Lockheed Martin Desert Hawk IIIs, 324 Prox Dynamics Black Hornets and 18 Honeywell T-Hawks.

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