Feeds

MoD awards £124m for pilot-free plane

RIP Biggles

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The UK Ministry of Defence is to invest £124m in developing a new pilotless plane.

The contract for Project Taranis, named for the Celtic God of Thunder the MoD says, has been awarded to a BAE Systems-led consortium, including firms like Rolls Royce, Qinetiq and Smiths Aerospace.

The contract requires that the group produce at least one demonstration plane, otherwise known as a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). It will be one of the world's largest UAVs, coming in at a similar size to a Hawk jet, the government says. That is about eight tonnes.

The autonomous plane will also integrate stealth technology and will be tested for its potential to carry ground attack weapons.

As well as explaining how delighted he was to award the contract, and mentioning that it was groundbreaking, and so on, defence minister Lord Drayson said the project would "test cutting edge technology for a new generation of equipment for our front line forces".

The demonstration plane should be ready for test flights "later this decade", the MoD says. Test flights are provisionally scheduled to take place in Woomera, Australia, where BAE Systems has a flight range. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.