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    New Zealand Avalon Member Studeo's Avatar
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    Default MoD lifts lid on unmanned combat plane prototype

    The Ministry of Defence has unveiled its prototype unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV).

    Taranis is a concept design for a long-range strike plane that has taken over three million man hours to produce.

    Defence Minister Gerald Howarth said it was a "truly trailblazing project" and featured "the best of our nation's advanced design and technology".

    The aircraft is due to begin flight trials early next year.

    Named after the Celtic god of thunder, Taranis is the first step in the development of unmanned strike aircraft, capable of penetrating enemy territory.

    Unmanned aircraft carrying weapons are already used in service, such as the MQ-1 Predator which carries Hellfire missiles, although these are only suitable for use where the airspace is under allied control.

    "This is the next generation of combat aircraft and flight trials will begin next year," Sqn Ldr Bruno Wood told BBC News.

    "It's a technology demonstrator that could be used as a testbed which may form further potential solutions to the RAF," he added...


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