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British Taranis military drone went supersonic

The British Taranis drone reaches supersonic speeds over the Australian Woomera missile test site recently. Taranis named after the Celtic god of Thunder it’s a multipurpose weapon. It is equipped with programmable target bombs and missiles and should be largely invisible to enemy radar.

The unmanned combat aircraft Taranis UACV (unmanned combat air vehicle) is being developed in the UK for nearly ten years as a “Weapon of the future”. The extremely tight joint development work of the Defense Ministry along with the largest military technology company of the country of BAE Systems is unusual. While the Government and the company share the cost: only the prototype alone ate around 215 million euros.

Not if Taranis so a fully paid development job. Rather, the Department of Defense with a variety of its own professionals in the work is integrated. The reason: The British Government want to be dependent on the development of the next generation of drones no longer mainly by the Israeli and American industry.

Taranis over soundspeed

After many ground tests in Great Britain the first flight of the Taranis drone took place in August 2013 in Australia. There are still all test flights. The main reason for this is that the test site from Woomera measures 127,000 km2 and is accessible only with special approval. Thus, the tests can be observed not so easy. The British military technology has tested already nuclear weapons and missiles on this site in the past. The Australian Department of Defense referred to Woomera as the largest “weapons test center” of the world.

British Taranis supersonic
Taranis is compactly built. During test flights involved engineers out on the development they control from the ground. She can also autonomously fly at supersonic speeds. Photo: BAE Systems

Recently, Taranis in Australia flies with supersonic speed. How fast exactly is this large drone, is not said. It is only confirmed that it flies with more than the speed of sound. Single this quick test flights lasted more than an hour.

Remote controlled by teams on the ground

The “test pilot” of Taranis are development engineers, which has long been working on the program. Control the fast drone, in our entire team during the first flight with ten technicians.

Taranis programme
About 250 companies are involved in the Taranis programme. Photo: BAE Systems

For the supersonic combat Taranis is equipped in addition with a software, which makes the fighter drone independent of human intervention in the process. Until the first Taranis fighter aircraft in the military service, will take some time: the British Defense Ministry assumes that by the year 2030.

About 250 companies involved in the Taranis programme

About 250 companies are participating in the Taranis programme. The lead is located at BAE Systems. The former State British military technology development in the shape of today’s joint-stock company Qinetic is also included in the program guide. Since 2014 the Taranis programme is also the French military technology, Dassault.

BAE Systems
For ten years, worked on the development of the drone. 2012, the first prototype was ready. The British Ministry of defence expects that Taranis 2030 is ready for use. Photo: BAE Systems

Large suppliers are Rolls Royce for the drive of the drone with an Adour Jet engine and fuel and power supply on board the American company General Electric through its British subsidiary, Smith industries.

Compact construction

Taranis has a length 12.43 m and a span of just 10 m. The height is 4 m and the maximum take-off weight 8t. Entered into relatively much stainless steel in the construction of the drone. All weapons are hidden during fast flights inside the drone.

BAE Systems
The “drone”embryo in the ChemPuter receive robotic arms. The chemical 3D printers will do the rest alone.
Photo: BAE Systems

BAE Systems is also more or less like plants to breed drones. The chemical process should practically by run off alone.