The £125 million ($190 million) Taranis, the Celtic god of thunder, can attack targets across continents, automatically dodge missiles and other efforts to bring it down and independently identify targets. It can refuel in mid-air and carry weapons including laser guided bombs and missiles.
Designed to avoid having to put human lives at risk on long and dangerous missions, the drone will be flown for the first time in a series of tests over the Australian outback early this year.
The maker of the drone, BAE Systems, conducts much of its unmanned aircraft work and research in Australia, with its engineering hub based in Melbourne, Australia.
BAE did not respond to a request for comment but told the Telegraph that Taranis will “have a major impact on the future of the UK military”.