British Stealth Drone to Undergo First Test Flight
It can fly faster than the speed of sound, cannot be detected by radar and has no pilot. This is the new robotic plane that will become the next generation of front line bombers for the British military.
The drone, which is named Taranis after the Celtic god of thunder, has been designed to fly intercontinental missions to attack targets and can automatically dodge incoming missiles.
The aircraft, which has cost £125 million to build, is intended to be the first of a new generation of aeroplanes that will reduce the need to risk human lives on long, dangerous missions.
It is to be flown for the first time in a series of tests over the Australian outback in the spring in an attempt to demonstrate the technology to military chiefs.
Currently the Royal Air Force uses Tornado GR4 bombers as its front line strike aircraft, although the Typhoon Eurofighter is expected to replace it in the coming years.