WARTON, UK –-- BAE Systems has begun assembly of the first major components of Taranis, the £124m Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) that will help inform the UK MoD on the balance and capability of its ‘future force mix’.
Specialist jigs have now been set up in a dedicated assembly hangar at BAE Systems which will be home to Taranis until it prepares for its first test flights in 2010.
Chris Allam, Project Director for Taranis at BAE Systems, said: “The start of assembly on Taranis is significant. It is the first time the UK has built an unmanned air vehicle on this scale with this level of capability. The teamwork around the Programme to date has been first class. This first phase of assembly is scheduled to take us through to the 4th quarter of 2008 before we move in to final assembly when we equip and test the aircraft prior to ground trials at Warton during 2009. Alongside this, our colleagues at Rolls-Royce will also be working on engine bench testing to confirm the performance of the propulsion system.”
BAE Systems is leading a Team comprising Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ and GE Aviation (formerly Smiths Aerospace) in developing the UK MoD Taranis Technology Demonstration Programme which brings together a wide range of expertise on flight dynamics, autonomous systems and stealth capability.
Following First Metal Cut in September 2007, many components are now in manufacture including the engine intake duct. The duct is being manufactured using state-of-the-art fibre placement technology within the Special Engineering Composite Facility (SECF) at BAE Systems at Samlesbury.
BAE Systems is the premier global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 96,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £15 billion (US $27 billion) in 2006 on a pro rata basis, assuming BAE Systems had owned Armor Holdings Inc for the whole of 2006.
Assembly Starts of Taranis Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle