The MoD and BAE Systems have revealed that the Taranis unmanned combat vehicle was undergoing secret test flights in the UK last year, with the drone carrying out several flights in our airspace -- some lasting for as long as one hour.
Taranis is designed to be controlled from the ground by a pilot, with the stealthy vehicle built to be able to carry out both surveillance and remote air strikes. BAE says this £185 million joint-funded government and private sector bot programme is "the most advanced air system ever conceived, designed and built in the UK," with some 250 UK companies involved in supplying and manufacturing the vehicle.
Here's the first test flight:
And here's the dramatic sci-fi blockbuster showreel:
The pilot for the first test flight was a man called Bob Fraser, who looks like your dad's old IT/pub/trains buddy. Bob is in fact the soldier of the future, whacking terrorists from a tab in Chrome using the WSAD keyboard layout while he eats biscuits with his other hand. [BAE Systems]