They’re catching up . . .

Looks like two European nations now have unmanned aerial vehicles that are roughly equivalent in performance to currently active US drones such as the X-47B or the RQ-170.  Late in 2012 Dassault of France flew its Neuron technology demonstrator, and now BAE Systems of Britain has just released a couple of video clips of its Taranis technology demonstrator.  Here’s its first flight.

You can see another video clip here, along with more information.

With China also developing stealth drones, and Russia allegedly doing likewise, it looks as if the US lead in the field is slowly being eroded.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next ten years or so.



  1. Many of the US drones were kind of pressed into service before development was completed, and thus don't do encryption of control or masking of RF signature very well — they are essentially bright spotlights saying "here I am" to anyone actively looking for them.

  2. What is the matter with the designers?

    Why the heck does that machine look EXACTLY like a normal aircraft of the type before they cut the holes for the cockpit windows?

    Surely doing away with the need for life-support equipment, man-machine interfaces, and the space required for the pilot would free some elbow-room for design innovation.

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