A senior Royal Australian Air Force official has confirmed flight testing of the BAE Systems-led Taranis unmanned combat air system demonstrator took place at the nation’s Woomera test range, removing a classification status previously imposed by the UK Ministry of Defence.
Speaking during a 5 November eventto mark forthcoming changes to the management of the range complex in South Australia, Air Cdre Stephen Osborne, Commander Aerospace Operational Support Group, said: “Woomera is the recognised home of military unmanned aerial systems testing in Australia, and it is fast becoming the destination of choice for our partners across the full spectrum of test and evaluation. For example, the British Ministry of Defence project Taranis successfully flight trialled its advanced unmanned combat air vehicle at Woomera in August last year.”
A first series of flights was conducted with the stealthy type at Woomera, with a second round having been performed between late the same year and January 2014. The latter involved flying the aircraft in what BAE describes as a “fully stealthy configuration, making it virtually invisible to radar” (below). Additional trials are now the subject of discussion between the company and the MoD.