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BAE Says Combat Drone Will Aid Fighter Pilots, Not Oust Them

  • Unmanned craft seen spearheading attacks for Eurofighter, F-35
  • Plans limited to ground-strike role -- dogfights not on agenda
Taranis drone. Source: BAE Systems Plc

Taranis drone. Source: BAE Systems Plc

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BAE Systems Plc lifted the veil on plans for the world’s first combat drones, saying it’s working toward a scenario in which the unmanned warplanes will fight alongside piloted aircraft rather than instead of them.

Europe’s largest defense company has modeled a battlefield scenario in which a super-stealthy successor to its current Taranis drone penetrates enemy lines and destroys key ground defenses before calling in conventional strike aircraft.