posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 07:13 AM
Yeah that one's British as well, though the UAV version is called Lancer. Kestrel is the manned aircraft.
Interesting fact about the BAE Kestrel, despite it being classified it's been known about for years as Tasuma has had a picture of it on there site
ever since they built it in around 2002; just no one thought to ask about it.
Edit - to answer your other questions, none of the BAE UAVs are expected to come into UK service at the minute and none will be made available to
customers. However a production version of HERTI is being developed and should be available by the end of 2006, there's a little bit of speculation
that Saudi Arabia might be the first export customer.
Corax might form the basis of a new HALE ISTAR system that is being considered as part of the Dabinett project which aims to provide a long range
persistent ISTAR capability, space based assets are also under consideration and the Qinetiq TopSat might play a part. HERTI could also find a use
here, it is known that the UK was interested in buying a few Predators but this fell through, given that HERTI is in the same kind of capability
bracket I think there could certainly be some interest.
Raven is forming the basis of the technology demonstrator being developed as part of SUAV(E), though BAE and it’s team (Qinetiq, Smiths and RR) have
begun work towards this a contract to begin development is to be signed this year, it’s fairly likely that this will happen at Farnborough.
Kestrel is pretty much retired as far as I know but I wouldn’t be surprised if Cranfield still uses it.
Project Churchill is something completely different. It is not a technology programme and will not result in any new UAV being developed. It’s being
conducted with the US as part of SUAV(E), the aim is to develop a better understanding of the associated issues surrounding UCAVs operated in a
coalition environment. The project will culminate in 2009 with live demonstrations using UK and US manned and unmanned assets, this might include the
Boeing X-45A, Northrop X-47A(B?) and the BAE Raven. The other side of SUAV(E) is the technology development work, the two won’t be mixed and the UK
will not be transferring any technology to the US though it may, through ETAP, transfer some information to European nations. Perhaps this is a result
of the recent F-35 problems.
[edit on 3-6-2006 by Mike_A]