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In Photos: UK's Top-Secret 'Taranis' Drone Takes Flight

Taranis in Flight

Taranis flies at sunset

(Image credit: BAE Systems)

The drone completed its first flight test on Aug. 10, 2013. The unmanned vehicle took off and flew for 15 minutes before landing back at BAE's factory in Warton.

To the Runway

Taranis during trials

(Image credit: BAE Systems)

In this photo, BAE Systems engineers prepare the drone for a flight test.

Introducing Taranis

Taranis taxiing

(Image credit: BAE Systems)

British aerospace firm BAE Systems is developing a top-secret combat drone, named Taranis. The unmanned warplane is designed to conduct surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations, and attack enemy targets on the ground and in the air.

In July 2014, BAE Systems announced that the Taranis drone completed a second set of classified test flights. Here, the drone is pictured on a runway in the town of Warton, in northwest England.

Here are more photos of the U.K.'s Taranis drone.

Sleek Design

taranis taxiing

(Image credit: BAE Systems)

The drone is shaped like an arrowhead, and has a wingspan that stretches 33 feet (10 meters) across.

Future Warfighter

Taranis testing

(Image credit: BAE Systems)

The Taranis program costs approximately $316 million U.S. (185 million British pounds).

Top-Secret Drone

Taranis flying

(Image credit: BAE Systems)

The Taranis drone is named after the Celtic god of Thunder. Few details have been made public about this stealthy warplane.

Eyes in the Sky

Taranis flying

(Image credit: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems says the Taranis drone is the U.K.'s most advanced unmanned warplane.