Nano drones, the advanced systems that pack a lot of functionality into a tiny form factor, are becoming a major military tool. FLIR announced last month that they have won an additional $20.6 million contract for their Black Hornet® 3 Personal Reconnaissance Systems (PRS).
Very few manufacturers in the drone industry can ignore the military market. As drone technology evolves, the more traditional military uses for unmanned systems are joined by new applications: and smaller drones join the fleets of larger aircraft. With the current ban on commercial off the shelf (COTS) units and drones manufactured in listed countries, the U.S. military is still a major investor in new technologies – like nano drones.
The recent contract for Black Hornets is an addition to the $39.7 million contract that the U.S. Army awarded FLIR in January of last year. The Black Hornets are designed to be used as part of the Army’s Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS) program – tools carried by an individual soldier to support small unit-level surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
“Extremely light, nearly silent, and with a flight time up to 25 minutes, the combat-proven, pocket-sized Black Hornet PRS transmits live video and HD still images back to the operator,” says a company press release. “Its information feed provides soldiers with immediate covert situational awareness to help them perform missions more effectively. FLIR has delivered more than 12,000 Black Hornet nano-UAVs to defense and security forces worldwide.”
“Black Hornet has proven to be a game-changing technology – a small package that can deliver a big edge on the battlefield,” said VP and General Manager of the Unmanned Systems & Integrated Solutions business line at FLIR, Roger Wells. “We’re proud to continue supporting the U.S. Army’s Soldier Borne Sensor program. Enabling warfighters with a full-range of integrated unmanned solutions, both in the air and on the ground, is a strategic objective FLIR shares with the military.”