Taranis UAV: Closer To Reality
The £124m Taranis unmanned air vehicle (UAV) technology demonstrator programme led by BAE Systems has moved closer to reality.
The release of the design models represents a transition from the design phase into the detailed design and manufacturing phase of the programme.
The Taranis airframe is a significant step forward compared to previous UAV demonstrators. This has necessitated the use of a refined rapid engineering process that brings together the learning from earlier programmes combined with existing processes and techniques. All this has resulted in an airframe design that now forms the basis of the detail design phase.
Taranis will be the largest UAV built in the UK, and as part of the MoD`s strategic unmanned air vehicle programme, the aircraft will explore and demonstrate how emerging technologies and systems can deliver battle-winning capabilities for the UK Armed Forces.
With the design of the autonomous systems, which are the "brains" of Taranis, finalised earlier this summer, Taranis remains on programme for assembly to start before the end of the year.
Ground testing is expected to take place in early 2009 with the first flight trials scheduled for 2010.