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BAe Systems Mantis

Unmanned Aircraft

United Kingdom | 2009

"The BAe Systems Mantis program will help evolve a future British-French UAV initiative."

Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited: 08/26/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this 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.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the BAe Systems Mantis Unmanned Aircraft.
2 x Rolls-Royce M250B-17 turboshaft engines developing 380 horsepower each.
345 mph
556 kph | 300 kts
Max Speed
9,942 miles
16,000 km | 8,639 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the BAe Systems Mantis Unmanned Aircraft.
65.0 ft
19.80 m
O/A Length
2,205 lb
(1,000 kg)
Empty Weight
19,842 lb
(9,000 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the BAe Systems Mantis Unmanned Aircraft .
Prototype will evaluate various precision-guided munitions.
Notable series variants as part of the BAe Systems Mantis family line.
Mantis - Project Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the BAe Systems Mantis. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): BAe Systems - UK
National flag of the United Kingdom

[ United Kingdom ]
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Image of the BAe Systems Mantis
Original image released to Public Domain by Mike Young via Wikipedia.

Going Further...
The BAe Systems Mantis Unmanned Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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