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A video recorded by the military contractor BAE Systems shows images of ' drone ' Taranis combat on its maiden flight .

Named after the Celtic god of thunder , the new British unmanned air combat was at its best in a short test flight filmed in 2013 but released now .

The video shows the intercontinental supersonic fighter (with 8 tons, 11 meters long and a wingspan of about 9 meters) taking off, doing some simple maneuvers and landing later.

The aircraft has " leading technology in the world" and the "system of more advanced navigation conceived, designed and built in the UK" , a country that boasts that its new device is an "inspiration to the nation ," the manufacturer .

Taranis development began in 2005 and the aircraft was presented in July 2010 at the air base in the British county of Lancashire.

The device is expected to perform a wide range of combat missions and even intercontinental flights.

The ' drone ' satellite will be controlled from anywhere in the world.

The Taranis is capable of operating independently of the control center automatically flights and intercept or evade guided missiles against them.

In addition , its ability to engage targets from " fully autonomous" way under its " intelligent system " converts , experts and activists in a " murderer robot" , which has sparked a public debate in the country.

" The murderers robots are weapons that make drones seem primitive .

At least with the ' drone ' is a man looking at computer screen, see the target and press the buttons to fire missiles and kill.

Several military is investigating weapons that do not need to be any human being involved in the attacks and the killing of human beings.

We find it shocking and scary that people are really thinking it's okay to leave the machines to attack and kill humans. "

The BAE Systems Taranis is a British demonstrator programme for Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) technology, being developed primarily by the defence contractor BAE Systems.

A semi-autonomous unmanned warplane, it is designed to fly intercontinental missions, and will carry a variety of weapons, enabling it to attack both aerial and ground targets.

It will utilise stealth technology, giving it a low radar profile, and it will be controllable via satellite link from anywhere on Earth.

The Strategic Unmanned Air Vehicles (Experiment) Integrated Project Team, or SUAV(E) IPT, is responsible for auditing and overseeing the project.

The aircraft, which is intended to demonstrate the viability of unmanned multi-role systems, is named after the Celtic god of thunder, Taranis.

It conducted its first flight in 2.013.

Design and development

The Taranis project is led by BAE Systems, and also involves Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation Systems, QinetiQ and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

As the prime contractor, BAE Systems is responsible for the overall programme, and also for many of the component technologies, including stealth technology, systems integration and system control infrastructure.

BAE Systems and QinetiQ are working closely on all aspects relating to the autonomy of the system.

GE Aviation Systems (formerly Smiths Aerospace) is responsible for providing Taranis' fuel-gauging and electrical power systems.

Rolls-Royce is responsible for the propulsion system and installation; the aircraft is expected to use a Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour Mk.951 turbofan.

BAE Systems Australia is tasked with developing and supplying the flight control computers,[8] having a 5% workshare in the project, while the Integrated Systems Technologies (Insyte) subsidiary of BAE Systems is providing C4ISTAR support.

BAE Systems stated that "Taranis will make use of at least 10 years of research and development into low observables, systems integration, control infrastructure and full autonomy.

It follows the completion of risk-reduction activities to ensure the mix of technologies, materials and systems used are robust enough for the 'next logical step'."

These "risk-reduction activities" included related BAE programmes, such as Replica, Nightjar I, Nightjar II, Kestrel, Corax, Raven and HERTI.

The first steel for the Taranis prototype was cut in September 2.007, and assembly began in February 2008.

On 9 January 2009, the Ministry of Defence denied that the Taranis had been flying near the site of a damaged wind turbine, after local people claimed to have seen a UFO.


The Taranis prototype, which cost £143 million to develop, was unveiled by BAE Systems at Warton Aerodrome, Lancashire, on 12 july 2.010.

Ground tests of the prototype began in 2.010,[4] and flight trials were initially expected to begin in 2.011.

However, the aircraft's first flight was later delayed to 2.012,then delayed further to "the first part of 2.013".

The prototype has a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of about 8,000 kilograms (18,000 lb), and is of a similar size to the BAE Hawk training jet.

It mounts two internal weapons bays, and is intended to incorporate "full autonomy", allowing it to operate without human control for a large part of the mission.

Flight testing

On 25 October 2.013, the UK Ministry of Defence revealed that initial flight tests had already taken place.

Ground tests were conducted in 2.010 and flight trials occurred in 2.013.

The MoD did not officially comment on the Taranis until the initial trials programme had been completed.

On 5 February 2.014, BAE revealed information on Taranis flight tests.

The first flight occurred on 10 August 2.013 at Woomera Test Range in South Australia.

This happened three years after the aircraft had been produced and lasted for 15 minutes. A second sortie was launched on august 17.

Subsequent flight surpassed expectations for the airframe, flying at various speeds and heights for as long as one hour.

Developing the Taranis has so far cost £185 million, compared to £140 million as originally projected.

The first flight also happened two years later than planned.

The Taranis is planned to be operational "post 2.030" and used in concert with manned aircraft.


Although the aircraft is still in development phase, the latest specifications which are publicly available are as follows
Height: 4 metres (13 ft)
Length: 11.35 metres (37.2 ft)
Wingspan: 9.1 metres (30 ft)
Weight: 8 tonnes (18,000 lb)
Range: Intercontinental

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