With the growing need for more capable surveillance-minded Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) flying about in uncontested airspace, EADS of France/Netherlands has put forth preliminary work on the Talarion, a Medium-Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) UAV intended to compete in the same category as the jet-powered Northrop Grumman RQ-4 "Global Hawk" and similar types. A mock-up was unveiled at the 2009 Paris Airshow though the product has since found few takers and supporters - save for Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) which has already successfully sold its TAI "Anka" MALE UAV to the Turkish Army, actively evaluating the aircraft as of this writing (December 2013). A first flight for the Talarion is tentatively scheduled for sometime in 2015 with official introduction in 2018 planned. At one point, the program was also supported by Italian concern Alenia but this came to naught. The Talarion receives its name from the mythical winged sandals worn by the Greek God Hermes.
Per the presented 2009 Paris Air Show mockup, the Talarion is given a shape not unlike the competing Global Hawk. The fuselage utilizes a well-streamlined shape with a bulbous nose assembly housing avionics. Payloads are held in a belly bay. Wings are straight appendages and mid-mounted along the sides of the fuselage. The powerplant is embedded at the rear of the fuselage and aspirated through a top-mounted intake ahead, and at the base of, the single vertical tail fin. There are a pair of low-mounted horizontal tailplanes at the rear. The Talarion would be powered by a turbofan engine of unknown make and model, though an installation providing the needed thrust at the operating altitudes required. Reports indicate that the Talarion might, indeed, showcase two engines instead of one as in the Global Hawk (a Rolls-Royce branded turbofan engine). Its wingspan is a reported 92 feet.
The Talarion would remain unarmed (as with the Global Hawk) and serve in the intelligence-gathering role - a vital service in any war.
As it stands, the program has not evolved as expected, largely due to a lack of interest even amongst European powers. The Talarion may still compete in several upcoming UAV programs but its future remains in doubt - particularly with the glut of UAVs arriving to market in the coming years.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
32.8 ft (10.00 m)
91.9 ft (28.00 m)
11.3 ft (3.45 m)
7,055 lb (3,200 kg)
22,046 lb (10,000 kg)
+14,991 lb (+6,800 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base EADS Talarion production variant)
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