Unmanned €170m combat aircraft of the future unveiled

IT may look like the stuff of science fiction but this unmanned jet could be the combat craft of the future.

Named Taranis, after the Celtic god of thunder, the £142.5 million (€170m) prototype was unveiled yesterday by Britain’s Ministry of Defence.

Dubbed the “pinnacle” of British engineering and aeronautical design, it is the size of a light aircraft and has been equipped with advanced stealth technology making it virtually undetectable.

Almost invisible to ground radar, it is designed to travel at high jet speeds and cover massive distances between continents.

The plane is built to carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance on enemy territory using sensors.

And it has been designed to carry a cache of weapons, including bombs and missiles giving it a potential long-range strike capability.

It can be controlled from anywhere in the world with satellite communications.

Experts say the cutting-edge design is at the forefront of world technology and as advanced as any US development.

The prototype will test the possibility of developing the first ever autonomous stealthy Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle.

Should such systems be brought into service, they would be under the control of highly trained military crews on the ground.

Flight trials are due to start next year.


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