PICTURES: BAE Systems reveals Mantis UAV in final assembly

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BAE Systems has released the first images of its Mantis tactical unmanned air vehicle demonstrator undergoing final assembly, and exhibited the type on the international stage for the first time.

"Final assembly of the first aircraft is well under way," says BAE. "This will be followed by ground testing to help prepare it for its first flight, which is due to take place over the next few months." This timeline represents a slight slip from a previous schedule, under which the aircraft had been expected to make its flight debut during February.

 bae systems

 bae systems

Both images © BAE Systems

BAE meanwhile displayed a full-scale model of the fully autonomous Mantis (artist's impression, below) and an operational ground control station at the Aero India 2009 show near Bangalore, citing New Delhi's "projected large requirement for unmanned aircraft systems".

© BAE Systems