British Get Serious RE: Unmaned Combat Aircraft

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Glider, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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  2. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    Depends on what you mean about it getting past the spending cuts. It's a technology demonstrator rather than a prototype aircraft. It would be extremely unlikely for the flight test program not to carry on after having spent money and time designing and building the thing.
     
  3. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    #3 Waynos, Jul 13, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
    I believe that the Taranis vaunted autonomy will actually make a productionised follow up more likely, rather than less. No expensive big heads to look after :)

    Whats interesting for me is that Taranis does not stand in isolation as a programme, BAE/QINETIC and now also RR have followed an almost organic path starting with the smallest, toy like RPV's through the likes of Herti, Corax, Raven, Demon, Replica, Nightjar, Mantis etc on the BAE side and the practical command and control trials from QINETIC using their BAC One Eleven and a Tornado to make this one of the most mature 'demonstrator' programmes around, even before it flies.

    I do wonder if there isn't already a bit more to this aircraft than we are told following BAE's decisions in the past to offer HERTI as a production programme and, more recently, a developed version of Mantis. I am sure BAE has a similar approach in mind for Taranis too.
     
  4. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Iam old enough to remember the TSR2, Bae EAP, SRAAM missile, Skyflash 2, HMS Bristol and no doubt other projects where they spent the money and got little if anything back.
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    and it looks cool as hell!
     
  6. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    The 'cost saving' of losing the aircrew is deceptive - after all, someone still has to sit on the ground and control it, and that will still cost.

    However, Eurofighter will need to be replaced, so the project does have a future, unlike Skyflash 2 and SRAAM, which were dropped in favour of other NATO (ie American) systems, and the type 82 DDGs/CGs, which were axed along with the aircraft carriers that they were supposed to escort.
     
  7. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Looks like something out of a Buck Rogers episode! Frikkin wicked lookin booger, that's for sure! And that room its parked in...quite pointy!
     
  8. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    I'm not sure that's really a good list apart from TSR2.

    EAP was an extremely cost effective demonstrator program and worked out pretty well.

    SRAAM -> ASRAAM

    Skyflash 2 -> Meteor

    HMS Bristol -> Sea Dart and Type 42s

    My point is more that Taranis is a demonstrator program, not a production program like the others (apart from EAP). It doesn't make any sense to build it and then not test it.
     
  9. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    A demonstrator that the UK paid for and a number of countries jumped on the back of with the Eurofighter

    Another Demonstrator that the UK paid for and a number of countries received the benefit of

    I don't know about a link to the Meteor but the Skyflash 2 was at the time a world beater that was developed and not put into service due too cost restrictions.

    The Bristol had capabilities that the type 42 didn't and was cut because of cost. Probably the most interesting was the Bristol had the ability to use the Sea Dart as an anti ship missile. In tests it blew 40 ft off the bows of a target ship with a missile that lacked an explosive warhead. This had been replaced with telemetary equipment for the test. I don't think the Type 42 had this ability which is why the Argentine vessels were equipped with Exocet missiles. The Bristol was also designed for the Seawolf which was not fitted. I do admit she did lack a hanger.

    I understand the point and I would love to be wrong and hope they do both test and build the beast, I love it. However our track record isn't good and I fear for the worst.
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Thats still a fraction of the cost for needing several years to train a pilot and then yearly costs keeping him proficient.
     
  11. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    It's worth pointing out that even unsuccessful programs that don't lead to hardware, increase the subject knowledge and experience in the field. This gives better results further down the line.
     
  12. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    No, thats the point of the autonomy they talk of. If it works as advertised you don't need any of that.

    This is not an air defence system. Typhoon would still need replacing eventually.

    But that was the entire point of EAP, to show our prospective partners that we (a) knew what we were doing and were serious about doing it (for a change). The fact it was successful was why, in part, we have Eurofighter today. The UK was never going to go solo on a new fighter.
     
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