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Taranis: The Unmanned Fighter of the Future

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 15 comments

British and American aerospace expertise combine to create the future of remote warfare.

Looks like the British want to shake up the unmanned fighter game. Forget the missile-raining Predator, the UK's Ministry of Defense (MoD) promises that the Taranis will be so much cooler.

The MoD says that while the aforementioned Predator and its descendant the Reaper (both UAVs developed in the US) can scope the battlefield and even attack enemies, they can only operate within controlled airspace.

Not so with the Taranis, which utilizes stealth-technology that allows it to sneak "virtually" undetected over enemy territory. The profile of the aircraft, which was developed by the MoD with the help of BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ and GE Aviation, is a more streamlined version of the classic Lockheed F-117 stealth fighter.

The $216.1 million prototype is currently undergoing tests, in preparation for its eventual role as a reconnisance, surveillance, and remote weapons platform. Ground operators will be able to control the Taranis UAV (named after the Celtic god of thunder) from anywhere in the world.

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  • 9 Hide
    scifi9000 , July 22, 2010 1:37 AM
    More weapons for Skynet!
  • 2 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , July 22, 2010 1:46 AM
    That's expensive.... anywhere in the world huh? Hopefully it's impossible to crack into whats controlling it.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 22, 2010 2:59 AM
    It looks like a Cylon ship!
  • 2 Hide
    jazn1337 , July 22, 2010 3:02 AM
    I wonder how they reconciled the problem of signals reaching the Taranis in time.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , July 22, 2010 3:12 AM
    They better build a Normandy as well so we'll be ready when the Reapers turn on us...
  • -4 Hide
    rebus_forever , July 22, 2010 3:18 AM
    this will so never happen and if it does it will no doubt have American computers probably outsourced from a military waste disposal system and even then they probably wont give the British the codes, i smell failure and its not just my typing.


    that said i hope the drones arnt on their way now : (
  • 4 Hide
    amnotanoobie , July 22, 2010 3:31 AM
    Gin FushichoThat's expensive.... anywhere in the world huh? Hopefully it's impossible to crack into whats controlling it.


    It's a prototype! Prototypes were never meant to be cheap, they were meant to work. They'll work on cutting costs later, when it actually works!
  • 1 Hide
    ask7852 , July 22, 2010 3:35 AM
    normandyvsreapersThey better build a Normandy as well so we'll be ready when the Reapers turn on us...

    YES!!!! Maybe the Collectors won't rape the ship when the time comes either.
  • 0 Hide
    Mark Heath , July 22, 2010 8:07 AM
    Looks like it has a big glowing eye... big glowing eyes aren't very stealthy.

    Still, looks pretty sweet.
  • 0 Hide
    fenixtx2 , July 22, 2010 9:06 AM
    That 'red glowing eye' is just a dust cover for the air intake.
  • 0 Hide
    braneman , July 22, 2010 11:54 AM
    wow, its a working prototype, I was going to complain about concept artists who only use tech found in sci-fi books... thumbs up for creating something we might actually see.
  • 0 Hide
    Marco925 , July 22, 2010 3:18 PM
    When do we set it against North Korea?
  • -1 Hide
    CTPAHHIK , July 22, 2010 3:58 PM
    No wonder UK is broke. $216 mil a pop. US scrapped F-35, which was much cheaper.
    Communication latency will not allow around the world operation. Would still require a mobile base somewhere.
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , July 22, 2010 4:11 PM
    CTPAHHIKNo wonder UK is broke. $216 mil a pop. US scrapped F-35, which was much cheaper. Communication latency will not allow around the world operation. Would still require a mobile base somewhere.

    I actually thought that $216 for a working prototype autonomous stealth fighter sounded pretty cheap. As for the current state of the UK economy, this has probably been in development for years (i.e. before the market crash).
  • 1 Hide
    samadkins29 , July 22, 2010 4:54 PM
    I seem to remember this going all bad in stealth......
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