Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
10 August 2013
GBP£124 million (USD$153 million)
Origin: United Kingdom
BAE Systems*, GE Aviation Systems, QinetiQ and Rolls-Royce (*) lead contractor
Parent System: Taranis
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2015
Maiden Flight: 10 August 2013
Total Production: ?
Development Cost: GBP£124 million (USD$153 million)
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Description: The Taranis is an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator sponsored by the United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defense (MoD) as part of Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicle (Experiment) (SUAV(E)) program . The Taranis industry team is being led by BAE Systems and comprises: QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce and the systems division of GE Aviation (formally Smiths Aerospace). The Taranis concept builds on BAE Systems-funded Raven program and many other technologies from UK MoD programs.
In December 2006, the UK MoD awarded BAE Systems a £124 million contract to provide the Royal Air Force (RAF) with the Taranis demonstrator. Ground testing is scheduled to begin in early 2009. The first demonstrator aircraft is expected to take to the air in 2010. By 2011, the UK MoD and the RAF will have enough information to proceed with the Deep and Persistent Offensive Capability (DPOC) which would deliver a future unmanned combat air vehicle.
Basically, Taranis is a delta-wing aircraft with an stealthy airframe. It features a sophisticated control system that will allow to autonomously taxi, takeoff and navigate through the target/search area while reacting to any threats or other theater events. Its sensor package will provide real time imagery to the remote control operator to confirm to engage a target of opportunity or a pre-programmed target. Once the mission has been accomplished, the Taranis will find its way back home, landing and taxing autonomously.
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