The BAE Systems Mantis Unmanned Autonomous System Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator is a British demonstrator programme for Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) technology. The Mantis is a twin-engine, turboprop-powered UCAV with a wingspan of approximately 22 m, broadly comparable to the MQ-9 Reaper. Other partners involved in Phase 1 of the Mantis programme include the UK Ministry of Defence, Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ, GE Aviation, L-3 Wescam, Meggitt and Lola.

Design and development

Description board for Mantis at Farnborough Airshow 2008

Development of the Mantis started in late 2007, a mockup being revealed at the 2008 Farnborough International Air Show. The Phase 1 Mantis vehicle is powered by two Rolls-Royce Model 250 turboprop engines, although this is likely to change in later variants. The Mantis is intended to have at least 24-hour operational endurance and is an autonomous vehicle, able to pilot itself and to plot its own course, communicating with personnel on the ground regarding its observations.[2]

Phase 1 is intended to demonstrate BAE Systems' rapid prototyping capabilities and will focus on the evaluation of autonomous control systems. Later phases may evaluate civilian applications, armed variants and sensor packages.

The large dome on the front, reminiscent of a pilot's canopy, actually contains an upward facing satellite communications system.

The prototype first flew on 21 October 2009 at Woomera Test Range in South Australia.[1]

In 2013 the Mantis was flight tested in the United Kingdom.[3] It is being used as the basis for the new BAE/Dassault Telemos UAV.[4]


Data from FlightGlobal,[5] Rolls-Royce[6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: none (UAV)
  • Length: 19.8 m (65 ft 0 in)
  • Empty weight: 1,000 kg (2,205 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 9,000 kg (19,842 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce M250B-17 turboprop, 280 kW (380 shp) each


  • Maximum speed: 556 km/h; 345 mph (300 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 370 km/h; 230 mph (200 kn)
  • Endurance: 30 hours


  • Hardpoints: Six


See also

Related development
Related lists


  1. ^ a b Craig Hoyle (13 November 2009). "UK's Mantis UAV demonstrator makes first flights". Flight International. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  2. ^ Mantis, gallery of future drones, Popular Science, March 2010.
  3. ^ [1], BAE Systems Newsroom, 9 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Paris 2011: BAE and Dassault team up for Telemos". AIN Online. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "BAE hails Mantis UAV success, nears Taranis roll-out". 30 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Rolls-Royce Model 250-B17F" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-02-17. 

External links