Telemos is an unmanned military aircraft being jointly developed by BAE Systems and Dassault. In Greek mythology, Telemos was a seer, son of Eurymus. He warned the Cyclops Polyphemus that the giant would lose his sight to a man named Odysseus.
The BAE Systems Mantis, which first flew in 2009, is being used as the basis of development. However, flying large UAVs in British airspace is a challenge.
A mockup of Taranis was unveiled at the Le Bourget airshow in 2011; by this time BAE and Dassault were cooperating closely, with BAE in the lead role. There was not yet a formal joint requirement for the UAV from the French and British armed forces, but requirements were firming up – including round-the-clock ISTAR capability. Any acquisition would be influenced by EU competition law.
More agreements were planned at the Farnborough Airshow in 2012.
Telemos is expected to be a competitor with the EADS Talarion – and American UAVs – for a future order by the South Korean government. It may also be a candidate for the Royal Air Force’s “Scavenger” project.
There is an exclusive agreement between BAE and Dassault; they would not cooperate with other partners to develop UAVs. Lacking serious rivals in the UK, this makes the BAE/Dassault partnership much more likely to get contracts from the British government. The Telemos is likely to compete with the Talarion for various future European deals.
Both turboprops and turbofans were considered for the initial design; the mockup shown at Le Bourget had turboprops, which would allow longer endurance at the cost of slower climbing.
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|United Kingdom||BAE Systems||Farnborough, Hampshire||http://www.baesystems.com|