Taranis project: Top secret

First drills under the British program BAE Systems Taranis, Raptor, took place in 2013. It is to show a breakthrough in development of Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles.

Taranis is named after the Celtic god of thunder Taranis, who was offered human sacrifices, ritual killings of which were carried out via burning.

Taranis is designed to fly intercontinental missions, and will carry a variety of weapons, enabling it to attack both aerial and ground targets. It will utilise stealth technology, giving it a low radar profile, and it will be controllable via satellite link from anywhere on Earth.

The first flight lasted 15 minutes and took place in Australia on 10 August 2013. An operational derivative of the Taranis is expected to enter military service some time after 2030. Expenditures for its development have already reached 185m pounds, which significantly supersedes 140m pounds that had been allocated.

Length of the drone makes up 12.43 m (40 ft 9 in), wingspan is 10 m (32 ft 10 in), and the height is 4 m (13 ft 1 in).

Given an Anglo-French agreement on technical cooperation, which was signed in 2014, some parts of the Taranis will be made jointly with the French program Dassault nEUROn, under which European intelligence drone is developed.

It will cost to each of the parties, France and Great Britain, 40 more million pounds.