Mystery Stealth aircraft spotted in UK. A cancelled Black Project being revived?

A video recently shot at BAE Warton shows a mystery stealth jet moved upside down. Not a (current) Black Project, still interesting.

The following footage was shot on Feb. 18, near BAE Systems facilities at Warton, in Lancashire, England.

The aircraft being moved is probably a full size model of the BAE Replica, a British stealth aircraft model developed by BAE in the 1990s and used for radar testing before its associated program, the FOAS (Future Offensive Air System), was cancelled in 2005.

The FOAS was a study aimed at finding a replacement for the RAF Tornado GR4. After the program was scrapped, it was replaced by the Deep and Persistent Offensive Capability (DPOC) program that was itself cancelled in 2010, following the UK military’s spending review.

The Taranis UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle) a semi-autonomous pilotless system that will feature an intercontinental range and will be able to carry a wide variety of weapons, including PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions) and air-to-air missiles, emerged as the eventual successor of the FOAS.

Anyway, the experience done by the BAE with the full-scale model of the BAE Replica is believed to be useful for the F-35, that is going to be the actual replacement for the Tornado GR4.

What’s unclear is what the airplane was doing in the open (and upside down). For sure nothing really secret (otherwise it would have been covered).

It’s been used for some additional tests on stealth technologies/designs? Something useful for the Taranis project or something else?

 

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About David Cenciotti 3632 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.