Meet Taranis, The Semi-Autonomous Stealth Unmanned Aircraft

Illustration for article titled Meet Taranis, The Semi-Autonomous Stealth Unmanned Aircraft

BAE Systems today unveiled Taranis, an advanced stealth unmanned aircraft that can carry its deadly payload deep into enemy territory without a pilot. It can also think for itself. It's part awesome, part Cylon Raider

The Taranis, revealed today in the U.K., joins other stealth UAVs into development. Part of a British initiative for the Ministry of Defense, the first Taranis built looks eerily like a Cylon Raider from Battlestar Gallactica, and the plan is to give it advanced autonomous abilities so it can think for itself. Before you start fearing a Skynet future, BAE is quick to point out "Should such systems enter into service, they will at all times be under the control of highly trained military crews on the ground."


The payload and other equipment hasn't been fully developed yet — and the initial test vehicle won't carry weapons — but it's expect to have two weapon bays. It's named for the Celtic god of thunder, but when it's tested next year the goal will be to see if it can strike without making a noise.

[Source: BAE Systems]

Test Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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Don't worry, this is packed full of high quality British electronics. Heck, Lucas is probably a sub-contractor. There is no chance for any sort of malfunction.

Also, most aircraft are piloted by officers that have at least a 4 year college degree plus a couple of years of flight training, so at least age ~23. I'm pretty sure drones are usually piloted by enlisted guys as young as 18 or 19. Nothing to worry about there either.