Taranis: UK Armed Drone Prototype Revealed
A top-secret prototype of what could be the first British-built drone has been revealed.
'Taranis' is still in the development phase but completed its first test flight last year and "surpassed all expectations", according to defence manufacturer BAE.
Its maiden flight took place at an undisclosed test range at 8.09am on August 10 and lasted 15 minutes.
For national security reasons, this has been subject to a media blackout until now.
Nigel Whitehead, BAE's managing director, said: "The programme has until very recently been classified."
Taranis will be the next generation armed drone. Development has so far cost £185m, which has been part funded by BAE and the Ministry of Defence.
More than 1.5 million man hours have gone into the design and development using the expertise of 250 UK companies in all.
RAF Air Vice-Marshal Sue Gray said: "Taranis is the most technically advanced RPAS (Remotely Piloted Air System) we've ever developed with our partners.
"It marks an extremely important part in the road map to the future."
The work that has been done in Taranis will inform the work the UK Government does with the French after a bilateral deal was announced last week.
The two-year agreement will see the two countries work together to develop a new armed drone.
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