British Unmanned Stealth Fighter Unveiled

BAE Systems has unveiled a prototype of the Taranis, an unmanned strike aircraft designed to precisely attack targets at long range. “Taranis has been three and a half years in the making and is the product of more than a million man hours,” said Nigel Whitehead, group managing director of BAE’s programs and support business, in a news release on the July 12 unveiling ceremony in Wharton, Britain. Ground testing on Taranis, named after the Celtic god of Thunder, began earlier this year and flight trials are slated to begin in 2011. If the unmanned aircraft enters service, it would be piloted by “highly trained military crews on the ground,” according to the release.