The UK Ministry of Defence has rolled out its Taranis UCAV demonstrator at a ceremony at BAE’s Warton, Lancashire facility.
The aircraft features a diamond shaped planform with a triangular intake and low observable features. It was designed by a partnership comprising BAE, Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ and GE Aviation.
“Taranis has been three-and-a-half years in the making and is the product of more than a million man hours,” Nigel Whitehead, group managing director of BAE Systems’ programs and support business said. “It represents a significant step forward in this country’s fast jet capability. This technology is key to sustaining a strong industrial base and to maintain the UK’s leading position as a centre for engineering excellence and innovation.”
Flight trials are expected to commence in 2011, possibly at the ADF’s Woomera test facility in South Australia where other UK UAV designs such as the Mantis have been flight tested in recent years.