BAE captures United Kingdom UAV deal

BAE Systems Plc won a $224 million contract to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle demonstration project known as Taranis for the U.K. Ministry of Defence.

The award was announced by Smith Aerospace, which is a subcontractor on the project along with Rolls-Royce Plc and QinetiQ Group Plc. All three companies are based in the United Kingdom.

The four-year Taranis project will develop a UAV with fully integrated autonomous systems and low observable features. The work is part of a strategic UAV experimental program sponsored by the British government. Industry partners also are contributing to the project.

Taranis' ground testing is expected to take place in early 2009 with the first flight trials taking place in 2010.

BAE Systems also will provide low observability, systems integration, control infrastructure and full autonomy elements in partnership with QinetiQ. Rolls-Royce will handle next generation propulsion installation and Smiths Aerospace will apply its vehicle systems. BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies will contribute command, control, communications, target acquisition and reconnaissance work.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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