The Drone Bomber Race...



...begins (well, among our allies, that is).

From a piece in the Malaysia Sun:

BAE Systems of the U.K is developing Britain's first unmanned fighter-bomber for the Ministry of Defence.

The Taranis project, forms part of the U.K's Unmanned Air Vehicle program and will cost the government 124 million pounds.

BAE Systems is working with military staff and scientists to develop and fly Taranis.

The jet will be designed with a bat-wing and will be able to think for itself, independently tracking and destroying enemy aircraft and targets.

But BAE has assured defence personnel that human authorisation will always be required before Taranis can use any of its weaponry.

Ground testing is expected to take place in early 2009, and the first flight trials are scheduled to take place in 2010. Taranis could be fully operational within 10 years.

I know, I know, this might be old news to some, but it's news to me. And I am curious to know from our international readers what the status of this project is right now. As you know, I'm a huge fan of combat drone development, and I want to make sure we have the latest on all efforts here.

Bring it!

-- Christian

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