UK Ministry of Defense Unveils Unmanned Aircraft

Due for air trial in 2011, this vehicle demonstrates the latest in aircraft innovation and design.

The British Ministry of Defense announced its new unmanned combat air vehicle, named Taranis. The aircraft represents a first attempt at creating an unmanned war plane, which is intended to save soldier’s lives by not involving them in direct combat.

While this advance can remove the need to put humans in harms way, the BBC reports that our sense of judgement is not obsolete yet:

However, Mr Felstead (Peter Felstead, editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly) stressed that while we would see greater development of ground attack UAVs, there would always be the need for a pilot with a “Mk I eyeball” when it came to air-to-air combat.

“If you have, say, an airliner that is reportedly hijacked, you are going to need that human factor to evaluate just what’s going on with the plane, what he can see through the windows and everything else. That’s not something, for now, that can be done remotely.”

The MoD also stressed that all weaponised UAVs were under human control.

“Should such systems enter into service, they will at all times be under the control of highly trained military crews on the ground,” it said in a statement.

BBC News: “MoD lifts lid on unmanned combat plane prototype”

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