Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

News & Politics News & Politics

Armed drones, now with stealth - Taranis

Posted by on Jul. 20, 2014 at 5:55 AM
  • 19 Replies

Is it ethical to develop this sort of technology?

by on Jul. 20, 2014 at 5:55 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
by Platinum Member on Jul. 20, 2014 at 5:59 AM

BAE Systems' Taranis unmanned combat air system demonstrator is designed to defeat new counter-stealth radars, and may use thrust vectoring as a primary means of flight control and an innovative high-precision, passive navigation and guidance system, an AW&ST analysis indicates.

Taranis is a blended wing-body shape with no tail surfaces, like most UCAS designs for wide-band, all-aspect stealth. It has a triangular top-mounted inlet and 2-D V-shaped exhaust nozzle. The underside is flat, with visible outlines representing weapon-bay doors. Panels under the leading edge point to provision for a dual-antenna radar like a smaller version of that fitted to the B-2 bomber. The demonstrator may be designed so that functional weapon bays and sensors can be installed for a follow-on program.

The Rolls-Royce Adour engine is mounted low in the center fuselage, behind a serpentine duct. Two small doors are visible on either side of the raised centerbody, and are likely to be auxiliary inlets used at low speeds. The weapon-bay outlines are on either side of the engine and the forward-retracting main landing gears are outboard of the weapon bays. The demonstrator's gear comes from the Saab Gripen.

The wing leading edges are highly swept to reduce head-on radar cross-section at all wavelengths. The double-V trailing edge is swept more acutely than on most blended wing-body UCAS designs. Unlike the Northrop Grumman X-47B or the Dassault-led Neuron, there are no short-chord wing sections or short edges: The shortest edge is more than 11 ft. long.

This most likely indicates Taranis is designed to avoid detection by very high frequency (VHF) early warning radars such as those being developed by Russia and China as counter-stealth systems (AW&ST Sept. 2, 2013, p. 28). VHF radars can detect some stealth shapes with wing and tail surfaces close in size to their meter-range wavelengths. When that happens, radar scattering is driven by “resonant” phenomena not affected by the target's shape.

Taranis's flight controls are intriguing. There are two large elevon surfaces on the trailing edge, with deep “cat-eye” cut-outs at both ends: These prevent formation of right-angle shapes when the elevons move, and are large because the surfaces are thick. Outboard of the elevons are upper and lower “inlay” control surfaces, set into the wing surface.

The elevons will provide pitch and roll force. The inlay surfaces can act as roll spoilers and speedbrakes, and differentially for yaw control. (Similar surfaces were used on the upper side of the X-47B.) But the inlay surfaces are non-stealthy when open, so they must mainly be used at low speeds, including take-off and landing. The one-piece elevons cannot provide yaw input that is independent of pitch or roll. There is no visible source of yaw control, which points to the use of thrust vectoring.

In 2010, BAE teamed with two British universities to build a small UAV called Demon with fluidic vectoring—using air injection inside the exhaust to vector the thrust, with no moving parts externally or in the exhaust stream—as part of a flight-control system with no moving surfaces. A Rolls-Royce patent filed in the U.K. in 2005 outlines a fluidic vectoring system designed to generate yawing moments in a high-aspect-ratio 2-D nozzle.

The navigation and guidance system for Taranis, perhaps not yet installed, very probably uses an advanced concept called simultaneous localization and mapping (Slam). BAE Systems Australia has been developing a highly autonomous Slam-based system and is responsible for the Taranis navigation and guidance gear, which it refuses to discuss (AW&ST April 1, 2013, p. 24).

Slam is suited to a stealth aircraft because it can use passive sensors—day video, IR or passive RF. Nor does it rely on a sometimes inaccurate terrain database.


by Fountain.Pirate on Jul. 20, 2014 at 6:07 AM

With do ethics have to do with war? Nothing about war is moral and the fact anyone would have a set standard of acceptable behaviour when killing others, shows their are no moral principles involved to start with.

It's war, of course they are going to use stealth in whatever means they can.  It's all mind boggling and sickening but unfortunately, it won't end anytime soon.

by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2014 at 10:19 AM
1 mom liked this


by Platinum Member on Jul. 20, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Quoting BaronSamedi:


What do you see as being the likely consequences of it being easier for the governments of big high-tech countries to kill people with risking the lives of their own soldiers?

by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Very dangerous.  Because humans adapt.  Then if  a country does not have battle hardened troops they stand to lose.  The battle hardened troops have the final edge.   Carthage is a good example.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting BaronSamedi:


What do you see as being the likely consequences of it being easier for the governments of big high-tech countries to kill people with risking the lives of their own soldiers?

by Platinum Member on Jul. 20, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Quoting BaronSamedi:

Very dangerous.  Because humans adapt.  Then if  a country does not have battle hardened troops they stand to lose.  The battle hardened troops have the final edge.   Carthage is a good example.

The end of Carthage was pretty dramatic, but could you explain further why you see it as a good example of the dangers of not having battle hardened troops?

In 151 BC Numidia launched another border raid on Carthaginian soil, besieging the Punic town of Oroscopa, and Carthage launched a large military expedition (25,000 soldiers) to repel the Numidian invaders. As a result, Carthage suffered a military defeat and was charged with another fifty year debt to Numidia. Immediately thereafter, however, Rome showed displeasure with Carthage’s decision to wage war against its neighbour without Roman consent, and told Carthage that in order to avoid a war it had to “satisfy the Roman People.”

In 149 BC, Rome declared war against Carthage. The Carthaginians made a series of attempts to appease Rome, and received a promise that if three hundred children of well-born Carthaginians were sent as hostages to Rome the Carthaginians would keep the rights to their land and self-government. Even after this was done the allied Punic city of Utica defected to Rome, and a Roman army of 80,000 men gathered there.[1] The consuls then demanded that Carthage hand over all weapons and armour. After those had been handed over, Rome additionally demanded that the Carthaginians move at least sixteen kilometres inland, while the city itself was to be burned. When the Carthaginians learned of this they abandoned negotiations and the city was immediately besieged, beginning the Third Punic War.

The Carthaginians manned the walls and defied the Romans, a situation which lasted for two years. In this period, the 500,000 Carthaginians inside the wall transformed the town into a huge arsenal. They produced about 300 swords, 500 spears, 140 shields and 1,000 projectiles for catapults daily.[1]

The Romans elected the young but popular Scipio Aemilianus as consul, a special law being passed to lift the age restriction. Scipio restored discipline, defeated the Carthaginians at Nepheris, and besieged the city closely, constructing a mole to block the harbor.

In spring 146 BC, the Romans broke through the city wall but they were hard-pressed to take the city. Every building, house and temple had been turned into a stronghold and every Carthaginian had taken up a weapon. The Romans were forced to move slowly, capturing the city house by house, street by street and fighting each Carthaginian soldier who fought with courage born of despair. Eventually after hours upon hours of house-to-house fighting, the Carthaginians surrendered. An estimated 50,000 surviving inhabitants were sold into slavery. The city was then leveled. The land surrounding Carthage was eventually declared ager publicus, and it was shared between local farmers, and Roman and Italian ones.

Before the end of the battle, a dramatic event took place: 900 survivors, most of them Roman deserters, had found refuge in the temple of Eshmun, in the citadel of Byrsa, although it was already burning. They negotiated their surrender, but Scipio Aemilianus expressed that forgiveness was impossible either for Hasdrubal, the general who defended the city, or for the defectors. Hasdrubal then left the Citadel to surrender and pray for mercy (he had tortured Roman prisoners in front of the Roman army[2]). At that moment Hasdrubal's wife allegedly went out with her two children, insulted her husband, sacrificed her sons and jumped with them into a fire that the deserters had started.[3] The deserters too then hurled themselves into the flames,[3] upon which Scipio Aemilianus began weeping. He recited a sentence from Homer's Iliad,[4] a prophecy about the destruction of Troy, that could be applied now to Carthage's end. Scipio declared that the fate of Carthage might one day be Rome's.

by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2014 at 4:09 PM
3 moms liked this
This not an ethical matter, it is a survival matter.

If we do not keep developing better weapons another power (Russia,China), will and they will turn those weapons on us and our allies. It is a matter of protecting our people, and if fewer of our soldiers die then all the better.

Russia, China, Iran, etc. given the chance would not think twice about the ethics of using the most current weaponry against its enemies.
by Gold Member on Jul. 21, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Although about Drones a little off topic but I was listening to one of my radio talk shows a couple weeks ago and they were talking about how people are buying them for their own personal use. Some architects who have cameras on them and some just for recreation as if it is a model air plane toy. One caller said he got one and with all he has put into it for taking photography as a hobby it has cost him 100 thousand dollars.

They were saying some people like one pervert in particular was using it to watch women in high rise apartments. I guess she tried to sue him because he took pictures and others have tried to sue for other reasons but don't win because this new "recreation" is so new that the FFA ? I think they are called had not established any restrictions yet. They are not supposed to fly them any higher than 300 feet because according to the reporter an air plane has to be 600 feet at it's lowest point so at 300 it will give leeway as to not clip the wing of the plane or something especially when a plane is so low coming into landing.

Another caller said he flies a medicvac helicopter and as low as they sometimes are it is very scary when he see them.

I know that's kind of off the topic but I was really surprised to learn that. I always pictured them as a huge weapon and thought military purposes were all they were for. I never imagined that people are buying them and using them as a toy. Those who called in and said they have one all said they just ordered it on line and have it customized to do what they want it to do.

by Platinum Member on Jul. 21, 2014 at 12:36 AM

 As long as they're our drones or a friendly ally of ours, hell yeah.  There are no ethics in war.  The biggest, the baddest prevail.

Obama already tried the appeasement route and look at the chaos in this world without the US as the eminent leader.

by on Jul. 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Yes and it was inevitable.  Drones keep our armed forces safer in that the operators can sit dafely inside a control room a continent or at least many miles away while either observing something of interest or dropping lethal mayhem down upon enemies.  However, people in our own country are understandably unhappy that they might be under surveillance by drones.  Plus, as drones become smarter and more capable...well...has no one watched the Terminator movies?

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN