* Taranis is an Unmanned Combat Aircraft System (UCAS) advanced technology demonstrator.
* The project aims to contribute to the understanding of strategic UCAS, through the demonstration of relevant technologies and their integration into a representative UAV system. Taranis will provide the UK MoD with experimental evidence on the potential capabilities of this class of UAV and help to inform decisions on the future mix of manned and unmanned fast jet aircraft.
* Named after the Celtic God of Thunder, Taranis will explore and demonstrate how emerging technologies and systems can deliver battle-winning capabilities for the UK Armed Forces incorporating both an autonomous and survivable UAV concept design. Any future in-service systems based on such a concept design will be under the command of highly skilled ground based operators who will also be able to remotely pilot the aircraft.
* About the size of a BAE Systems Hawk Jet, Taranis is jointly funded by the UK MoD and UK industry and is managed by the UK MoD's Unmanned Air Systems Project Team in the Defence Equipment and Support organisation based in Bristol.
* Initial ground-based testing commenced in 2010 with first flight expected to take place in 2011 on successful conclusion of ground based testing.
* In addition to the existing industry partners, the project will also engage a significant number of other UK suppliers who will provide supporting technology and components.
Information taken from BAE Systems