back to article First metal cut on BAE's 'Taranis' robot stealth bomber

The UK MoD has announced the cutting of the first metal for its new stealth robot bomber, Taranis. Project Taranis, according to the MoD, will build an unmanned demonstrator the size of a small fighter jet. It will be stealthy, speedy, and able to "deploy a range of munitions over a number of targets." The robot jet will also …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsourced to India; not likely!

    What the RAF would be really horrified by is the outsourcing of their "piloting" jobs to such oiks as Army corporals. The fact that the majority of the Army's helicopter pilots are NCO's always had them worried!

  2. Andy Worth

    Gamers in demand?

    So will they be wanting accomplished combat flight sim gamers to operate the things? :)

  3. Sceptical Bastard

    Handy phrase

    DPOC seems to neatly sum up current US foreign policy

  4. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Transitional Governance Media 42 Empower Virgin Imaginanation

    "Operational Analysis and technological evidence is currently too immature to categorical [sic] confirm that the capabilities offered by [a flying robot] will fulfil requirements."

    I Disagree. And would PosIT such Capabilities in Robotic Flights of Fancy are a Quantum Leap Further Advanced than is Popularly Perceived ... as in Conceived.

    MeThinks Per Ardua ad MetaAstra, that Leads to AI CyberSpace Fleet AIReSearch Arm. Articial IntelAIgents Virtual Defence.

    An AnglodDutch Shell C00Peration in the Virtual Genre..... The Pyramid of Access Dimensions.

    Keepers of the Key with AI FailSafe to Perfect Sourcing CodeXXXX. Brazen Lusty Open Coding for Future Perfect Dreams?

    Virgin Information for Machine Intelligence Processing to Digitize Life in AIDreams and BroadBandCast them back to you as Breaking Media News Stories we are Programmed to Follow.

    Make the News and IT will Follow the Leader of such Times. And the Better the News, the Better the Beta.

    21st Century InterNetworking 42BTrue. AQuantum IntelAIgently Designed Entity ..... QuIDs in. Wwwe Cover any Honey Pot with Equity would be a Brash Boast to make, if unprepared without ITs MasterPlan. Does Sharing the Ultimate Goal allow for Every Help and Assistance?

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    El Regers might like to consider their own present states of mind as they read this because they are expected to share what we are doing here, further. ...... amfM

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Were does one obtain these post-eduction handouts?

    £124 million so a company can brush up on some skills and then `bid` on contracts later on. What am I missing here. There not producing a product, mearly being paid to play and learn. I soooo want one of these types of companies/jobs. Having to be accountable and have a cost/benifit in real-business sucks compared to this type of playing feild.

  6. Paddy
    Black Helicopters


    Anybody think of recruiting gamers? They'd be better than those boyscouts in the RAF anyway.

    Can visualize the poster:

    Wanted for part time combat duty - Flight Sim Gaming experience on PS/PS2/PS3/XBOX/XBOX360.

  7. TeeCee Gold badge


    "Hello, welcome to the RAF. I'm sorry but all our pilots are all unavailable at the moment. If you have your GPS coordinates available, you may use our TARANIS service. Press 1 to drop a bomb, 2 to drop a smart bomb, 3 to order reconnaissance photographs, 4 to make a strafing run and 9 to nuke the bastards 'til they glow. This last option requires that you have previously set up an account with us and have your PIN number to hand. Alternatively, hold the line to speak to one of our clerks who will guide you through the process of provisioning death from afar. Thank you for using the RAF, a division of the Ministry of Defence."

  8. Smell My Finger

    Isn't it just another missile?

    Since unmanned aircraft are clearly not suitable for air-to-air combat, wouldn't it be much cheaper to use either a combination of missiles and some sort of large bomber with targettable ordnance be a lot cheaper? Most of the people we attack can't actually shoot back.

    It seems a very expensive method to deliver small payloads - besides which anything that is ultimately designed to replace the Tornado can't negate the fact the Tornado was designed to fight the Cold War as will any of its successors. The era that spawned the Tornado is dead and buried, I think the battlefield has completely changed.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Unmanned combat aircraft

    Surely remote controlled aircraft will largely be sitting (well, very fast-moving, but not very evasive) ducks, with satellite-comms timelag? Unless they're planning to make them autonomous. Which is a bit scary.

  10. Rob


    So when will the confusion ensue with our Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) and it starts dropping students on the enemy, don't get me wrong I don't think that's a bad thing.

    (What do you mean you can't find my coat, I have the cloakroom ticket)

  11. Andus McCoatover

    Wrong colour?

    Don't think so. But the classic must be:

    -It's Friday. Or, being a recent member of the Great Unwashed, everyday is Friday (hic)

  12. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Nymphs and Satyrs Seek Good Home ..... Immaculate Space. :-)

    Wanted for full part time combat duty - Master Pilot Flight AsSimulator Gaming experience on PS/PS2/PS3/XBOX/XBOX360...... Global Operating Devices.

    Now that is most Definitively RAF Winged Territory ..... Hallowed Ground for Dead Head Programmers [into Binary Gene IDEntification ....AI Semantic Signatures Front and Rightly Proud on the Erotic Left of Centre Political Platform/Religion.]

    Well? What Drives your CHDrive? CHyperDrive?

    An Invention of Wiser Men and Women for Investment/42Entertainment?

  13. Anonymous Coward


    "£124 million so a company can brush up on some skills and then `bid` on contracts later on.."

    Yes. This is more about keeping skills inside the UK so we can actually make things rather than all be project managers or IT admins. The fact that we have the most openly competitive defence market in the world means that sometimes you have political desicions fall in the favour of a British company. This happens all the time in every country (France are particularly good at this) and it isn't wrong up to a point.

    It is frustrating when you are the best and the cheapest and you've worked your ass off and you still lose....

  14. Anonymous Coward

    enders game

    as a retired air force military planner, I have always viewed "ender's game" as the most unavoidable of futures. it makes very little sense to send humans into air combat except in very unique circumstances. In the later years of my career we routinely referred to pilots as "operators" ( not within their hearing, heaven forbid).

    Anything that moves us toward enders game is a good thing for humanity.

  15. amanfromMars Silver badge

    May the Best Driver, Win Win .......the AIM of these GAImes, No Losers. :-)

    "It is frustrating when you are the best and the cheapest and you've worked your ass off and you still lose...."

    And a tad clumsy of the best. Is it intentional?

    It is most unlikely that anyone gets to purloin State Secrets in an Immaculate State.... and dDeep Stealth Wounded Knee is Beta than Any? But it is not Leadership, is it, with the best?

    A Civilianised AIR Force will have Post Modern Automotive Space Vehicles equipped for Satellite Reception Internet Connection....... Hot Fighter Jets for CyberIntelAIgent Fleet AIR Arms...... Great GAImes PR Weapons.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "The Taranis aircraft, which will cost the taxpayer £124m..."

    It must suck to be him. Shouldn't you guys spread out the load a little bit?

  17. Nigee

    cost effective

    Technology demostrators/explorers are not unusual. BAE produced one for Typhoon. You can't do all research by computer simulation alone.

    As for deep attack, well unmanned is surely cheaper than manned, but firing a msl of the back of a truck is cheaper still. Note the Army's IFPA initiaite (first(?) order (for BSFM) announced a couple of days ago) includes a smart msl able to shoot out to 300km, well into traditional RAF territory.

    I think the RAF will reach their 100th birthday but wouldn't put money on the 125th.

    For a good laugh check back about 3 years into the Commons Defence Cttee reports, where the whole matter of RN/RAF using only officer driver chappies for heli while the Army uses mostly NCO/WO. Some of the RAF's justifications are classics in bullshit. And the elected members hammering the RAF over being elitist unlike the Army were delicious.

  18. Mr Chris

    Good grief.

    Didn't the RAF rather disastrously go through this thought process in the 20th century? First with their cancellation of, amongst others, the TSR2 project because "SAMs will make aircraft obsolete", and then later barely putting any money in fighter development because they believed the future was in unmanned aircraft they reckoned they could buy from the US?

    All the chopping, changing, cancellations and cuts since the 50s have left us with a shoddy air force that's got ageing airframes soldiering on and shonky white elephant aircraft designed for threats that have long since passed but that still haven't been finalised.

  19. Gaius

    Umm, no

    "Anything that moves us toward enders game is a good thing for humanity."

    Anything that makes war a risk-free activity (for one side) will be an unmitigated disaster for humanity.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    Not seeing your point here. The world (And therefore humanity) ends at the boarders of the good old USofA. Risk free war for UKUSA is therefore good for humanity. What are you some sort of commy?

  21. call me scruffy

    Re: Were does one obtain these post-eduction handouts?

    The truth is a grim and vile thing, so I'll break it to you in small pieces.

    First Dot, BAE employs the better part of 10,000 in lancashire,

    Second Dot, An extra 20-40,000 (Depending on who you speak to, day of week, phase of moon etc.) are employed in the supply and logistics chains, also in the north west.

    Third Dot, BAE can at least threaten they'll go tit's up if they don't have another handout

    Fourth Dot, The north west is the nu-lab homeland.

    Fifth Dot, It's a labour government at the moment.

    join the dots and what do you get?

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