Britain's Ministry of Defence unveils unmanned Taranis combat aircraft

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Well, it looks like Boeing's unmanned Phantom Ray stealth aircraft just got a bit of company courtesy of Britain's Ministry of Defence. It's now unveiled the BAE-built Taranis, which is not just an unmanned aircraft, but an unmanned combat aircraft that promises to be capable of penetrating enemy territory -- as opposed to something like a Predator drone that's only suitable for use if the airspace is under control. As you might expect, complete details on the aircraft are still being kept under wraps, but the MoD says there's "more than a million man hours" behind it, and that its first flight trials will begin early next year. And, no, "unmanned" doesn't mean autonomous -- the MoD is quick to point out that, "should such systems enter into service, they will at all times be under the control of highly trained military crews on the ground."

[Thanks, Rob]
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