Defence chiefs and BAE Systems have revealed that Taranis, the stealth-like unmanned plane, surpassed all expectations during its first flight trials last year.
The £185m plane, named after the Celtic god of thunder, made its maiden flight at an undisclosed test range last August.
It was under the remote command of BAE Systems’ test pilot Bob Fraser, it was revealed at a London press conference.
The demonstrator aircraft made a perfect take-off, rotation, “climb-out” and landing on its 15 minute first flight.
A number of flights took place last year, of up to one hour in duration and at a variety of altitudes and speeds.
The announcement comes days after an agreement between France and Britain to work together on a £120m “drone”project.
Initial ground testing commenced in 2010 at BAE Systems’ military aircraft factory in Warton, followed by a comprehensive and highly detailed programme of pre-first flight checks and training.
Last April it underwent taxi trials on the runway at Warton and made its maiden flight at a secret location .