2008-07-21 - BAE Mantis unveiledBAE unveils Mantis unmanned demonstrator
BAE Systems has entered into a jointly funded 1st phase of a programme with the UK Ministry of Defence to develop an Unmanned Autonomous System (UAS) that will help shape technology development for the UKs future UAS capability.The Mantis UAS Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator programme will bring together technologies, capabilities and systems that will demonstrate the potential of a large unmanned aircraft to support future UK Operational needs.
Phase one of the programme will see BAE Systems working alongside the MOD and key UK industrial parties including Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ, GE Aviation, SELEX Galileo and Meggitt. The design and manufacture of the twin-engine Mantis and the associated ground control infrastructure is already underway. Assembly, vehicle ground testing and infrastructure integration testing will take place later this year, with first flight currently scheduled for early 2009.
The Mantis benefits from low-cost advanced construction techniques developed on earlier BAE Systems UAS programmes and provides for a wide range of "plug and play" systems and equipment, as well as enabling flexible external stores carriage. A triplex flight control system will give high system reliability and integrity, with full exploitation of onboard autonomy reducing operator workload and increasing system performance. The novel design will also explore how low logistical footprint and ease of support could reduce through-life operating costs.