"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Sunday, September 07, 2008

MOD make extravagent claims for Mantis - which BAE are selling them "off plan"

At Farnborough air show in June ,BAE systems unveiled a full-scale model of an UAV,and also revealed initial details of project Mantis, a UAV on which development began late last year under an advanced concept technology demonstrator (ACTD) contract with partners Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ, Selex Galileo, GE Aviation and Meggitt. The first flight was said to be (very ambitioulsy) scheduled for early 2009.

The T tailed Mantis is designed to be able to carry GBU-12 laser-guided bombs and Brimstone missiles on six weapon pylons.The Mantis features twin-props, a multi-sensor turret and radar under its fuselage, and a satcom antenna in the upper nose section and will use a triplex flight control system. The wings are made at BAE Brough now they have nothing left to make with the Hawk having migrated to India and the airfame is made by Lola who mae F1 cars.

The mock up shown at Farnborough deployed 4 Raytheon Paveway IV dual mode guided-bombs and six Brimstone missiles on two three-round launchers.

Air Vice-Marshal Simon Bollom, the Defense Ministry's director general, combat air, said at the time that the Mantis is "the type of platform with which we can experiment".

A few days later Flight was able to announce that, " the MOD may deploy to Afghanistan its BAE System's Mantis advanced concept technology demonstrator unmanned air vehicle as part of Mantis's second development phase, or spiral. "

How every odd then, that the Sunday Mail reports , under the headline " RAF show off 'killer' drone aircraft which will help protect major dam in Afghanistan" which a "Daily Mail reporter" reports "The RAF has unveiled its latest weapon in the fight to protect the crucial Kajaki dam in southern Afghanistan. The unmanned Mantis killer ‘drone’ aircraft will guard supply pylons in the area where last week British troops carried out a daring mission to install a 200-ton turbine."

Excited observers look forward to seeing this wonderful aircraft fly before it is packed off to Afghanistan to replace the £10 Mn a throw Israeli Hermes UAV's - one of which has already crashed.

Costs of the project shared 50.50 with the contractors and the MOD have not been revealed. Nor how they will take this to operational capability froma mock up at Farnborough in June to 24 hour patrolling the skies over Afghanistan.

Andrew Chuter in Defense News reporting from Farnborough had however raised a note of caution ..."The reticence by the two sides to reveal program costs leads to the suspicion that the amount of cash involved in the program at this stage is small, and the cash-strapped MoD is providing only a small portion of the funding.

Industry sources estimated the investment in the tens of millions of pounds, significantly less than the £124 million being jointly invested by industry and government in the stealthy, jet-powered Taranis unmanned air vehicle technology demonstrator launched in 2006 by now you see him, now you don't race car driving ,by the then-defense procurement minister, Lord Drayson.

Many of the leading players in Mantis are also playing a role in Taranis. That airframe is in assembly.

Air Vice Marshal Bollom with his head firmly in the clouds said the program also was aimed at demonstrating the rapid prototyping capabilities of British industry in the UAV sector.

"Rapid development programs such as Mantis will provide indicators of how we can improve the acquisition process to deliver capability swiftly into fast-changing military environments," Bollom said.

Several of BAE's earlier privately funded demonstrator programs, like Corax /Raven, (It was given 2 synonymns Corax is the Latin generic name for the ravens and crows - perhaps to confuse the Russkis we had 2 diferent models) were developed using rapid prototyping apparently says the MOD. Those not convinced might like to re-read the birthday post of Lord Patel on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 Overmanned BAE produce Unmanned useless UAV out of date, obsolete UAV with catchy name. The Corax (see BBC report) first flew in 2004. Nothing has been heard of it since.

UPDATE : If this flies over Aldershot never mind Afghanistan we will collectively show our arse in Woorlworth's window.


Anonymous said...

The latter part of this is complete rubbish.

Corax and Raven are indeed two separate aircraft that share the same central fuselage, hence the Corax and Raven link.

Corax hasn’t been heard of since it flew because it was purely a demonstrator, however systems demonstrated in that aircraft (along with Soarer, Kestrel, Raven and HERTI-D) have been brought forward in programmes such as Taranis, HERTI-A, Fury, Mantis, Ampersand and GA22.

The amount of money spent on Mantis is next to irrelevant; the reason being that it will heavily draw up work already done as part of the Soarer, Kestrel, Raven, Corax, HERTI and Taranis programmes. The budget for these combined is somewhere in the region of £250m which is nothing to be sniffed at.

The speed at which these aircraft are going from drawing board to mission capable is also quite quick. For example work began on HERTI in 2005 and it was flying missions in Afghanistan in 2007; as you say work on Mantis started last year.

I’m also fairly certain that the UAV crash you’re thinking of was a Reaper not a Hermes.

The parts of that piece that you obviously ripped from Flight International or Defense-News.com were decent. The stuff you did on your own, not so great. More research and less eagerness to jump on the BAE hating bandwagon would help perhaps.

mrmalaya said...

hello, with regard to your lack of faith in a very impressive BAE programme:

"The first flight was said to be (very ambitioulsy) scheduled for early 2009."

here is news of the first flight (within the first 6 months of 2009- is that still early 2009?)


"Mantis maiden flight this month
May 07, 2009
BAE Systems is to fly its Mantis UAV later this month.
The news was revealed by MD of Military Air Solutions at BAE Systems, Kevin Taylor, speaking at the Shephard-organised RAF Air Power conference this week.
The twin-engined, medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV, first unveiled at the Farnborough Airshow last year, has been under construction at the BAE facility at Warton in Lancashire since late last year.
Mr Taylor said he could not provide an exact first flight date as this depended on range slots at the flight test centre at Woomera, South Australia.
Mr Taylor said: "Mantis delivers the medium altitude and long endurance required today by our armed forces," and added that the aircraft's rapid development had proved the company's rapid engineering techniques.
by Tony Osborne - UVOnline Editorial Team"

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish