Airbus Defence and Space announced it has won an order from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence for the manufacture and operation of two solar-powered Zephyr 8 high-altitude pseudo-satellite craft.

With a wingspan of 25m and flying at some 65,000ft, the Zephyr 8 is capable of providing persistent surveillance over land or sea, and hosting communications links, over the same area for months at a time without landing.

The first Zephyr 8 is under construction and is due to fly in mid-2017.

Zephyr 8(Airbus Defence and Space).

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