Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting

BAe Systems Mantis

Unmanned Aircraft

BAe Systems Mantis

Unmanned Aircraft


The BAe Systems Mantis program will help evolve a future British-French UAV initiative.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United Kingdom
YEAR: 2009
OPERATORS: United Kingdom

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the BAe Systems Mantis model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 64.96 feet (19.8 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 2,205 pounds (1,000 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 19,842 pounds (9,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Rolls-Royce M250B-17 turboshaft engines developing 380 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 345 miles-per-hour (556 kilometers-per-hour; 300 knots)
RANGE: 9,942 miles (16,000 kilometers; 8,639 nautical miles)

Prototype will evaluate various precision-guided munitions.
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition

Series Model Variants
• Mantis - Project Designation


Detailing the development and operational history of the BAe Systems Mantis Unmanned Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 3/20/2016. Authored by Dan Alex. Content ©
European reliance on UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) systems has grown considerably with each passing modern conflict and several concerns have thrown their hats into the ring to provide near-future solutions locally and with the lucrative prospect of export. BAe Systems unveiled their "Mantis" solely as a UAV technology demonstrator to evaluate a full-sized unmanned combat vehicle - known specifically under the categorization of "Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle" (UCAV). The UCAV class is similar to the basic UAV/drone in most respects through evolved to the extent that it supports the delivery of precision-guided munitions (as in the American MQ-9 "Reaper" family). These aircraft are generally of larger dimensions with more advanced in-flight systems and greater internal volume for fuel (extending operational ranges) and mission payloads. The Mantis currently serves as a developmental test platform, having recorded its first flight on October 21st,2009 at the Woomera Test Range in Australia. It joins BAe System's other high-profile UAV demonstrator - the "Taranis" - which saw work on a prototype begin in 2007. To date, the Mantis program has produced a single prototype following the mockup which debuted in 2008 at the Farnborough Air Show in Britain.

The Mantis program is British-led initiative and centered along the prospect of defining a reusable, long-range, deep-penetrating UAV combat-minded system. As such, the vehicle was specifically designed with high endurance and long range performance in mind along with a modular payload capability (including support for weapons delivery). As with other growing UAV programs, the Mantis intends to operate largely autonomously while relying on satellite communications for its self-positioning. user interaction will allow for overides but the Mantis will be independent in its navigation, landing and take-off procedures. While headed by BAe Systems, the program also includes major industry players such as GE Aviation, L3 Wescam and Rolls-Royce. Avionics includes the LS Wescam MX-20 series imaging system and the BAe Systems-supplied Imagery Collection and Exploitation (ICE) suite. Data collected during the Mantis program will assist in the future development of the joint British-French UAV initiative known as the "Telemos" (headlined by BAe Systems / Dassault).

The external profile of the Mantis is largely conventional and essentially mimics a manned aircraft though the domed front section houses operational systems instead of a cockpit. The fuselage is well-contoured for aerodynamic efficiency and includes low-set, straight wing appendages. The rear section of the fuselage is tapered and mounts a "T-style" tail unit. The Mantis is propelled by a pair of Rolls-Royce engines arranged in a "pusher" configuration and seated in individual nacelles along the fuselage spine just ahead of the tail unit. The undercarriage is wheeled in the traditional way and fully retractable. The wing assemblies are designed to support external munitions across six hardpoints.

Overall length of the Mantis prototype is 65 feet while the airframe sits empty at 2,200lbs with a listed maximum take-off weight of 19,800lbs. Power is served through 2 x Rolls-Royce M250B-17 series turboshaft engines developing 380 horsepower each. Currently, the Mantis showcases a top speed of 345 miles per hour with a cruise speed in the vicinity of 230 miles per hour and features a mission endurance time of up to 30 hours before requiring resupply.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (345mph).

Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the BAe Systems Mantis's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (1)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map Site content ©2003-, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo