12 Nov 2007 | Ref. 350/2007
Taranis - Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)
Dubai - BAE Systems has become the first UK-based aerospace business to gain design approval under the UK MOD Design Approved Organisation Scheme (DAOS) for Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems without a weight limit.
The certification recognises BAE Systems capabilities for the design, development, certification and test of Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) including systems and sub systems.
Chris Clarkson, Director for Autonomous Systems & Future Capability, said: "It is MoD policy that defence contracts shall be placed only with contractors whose management, technical resources and quality assurance arrangements are demonstrably adequate to provide products and services of the required quality, economically and on time. This is a significant step forward for us and a tribute to the work and commitment of the teams behind our UAS programmes.
He added: "The standards we have had to meet are stringent and wide-ranging. We are the first UK company to achieve this approval for UAS without weight limit."
The approval comes as BAE Systems recently announced the successful 'First Metal Cut' on the £124m Taranis Technology Demonstrator programme which will see the BAE Systems Hawk-sized Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator begin a series of flight trials during 2010. Taranis, a UK MoD-led project supported by an industry consortium led by BAE Systems, will offer the UK Government a chance to assess the potential of UCAVs in terms of Deep Persistent Offensive Capability and will help the armed forces inform the balance of the future Force Mix.
BAE Systems has made a significant investment over several years in the development of UAS capabilities before winning the Taranis TDP contract where it is working alongside three other Tier 1 partners: QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation to deliver the four year Programme.
Successful trials with UAV platforms such as CORAX, RAVEN and HERTI have all combined to ensure BAE Systems now has the lean manufacturing and rapid prototyping capabilities needed to further develop in this highly competitive market sector. The company has also developed levels of autonomy for its UAV platforms which significantly enhance their operational capabilities and reduce high levels of dependence on ground-crews.