The British Army is set to receive the Black Hornet 3 Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS). FLIR Systems, which manufactures the nano unmanned aircraft system (UAS), today announced receipt of a $1.8m contract to build the drones for the British Army.
According to a statement from the company, the Black Hornet 3 will offer “near-silent lifesaving, covert situational awareness to soldiers.”
The initial order is part of an experimental procurement and part of the UK Ministry of Defense’s Transformation Fund Rapid Procurement Initiative
Units delivered under the contract will support platoon- and troop-level surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. They also will be used in part for a test and evaluation of nano UAS capabilities to enhance warfighters’ situational awareness on the front lines.
“In 2013, the British Army was the first military force to deploy this technology in an active combat zone with troops operating in Afghanistan,” said David Ray, President of FLIR’s Government and Defense Business Unit. “We are pleased they have again chosen FLIR for its nano UAS solution and we are proud to provide the Black Hornet 3, our latest version of this revolutionary, lifesaving technology, to soldiers on the battlefield.”
The pocket-sized Black Hornet 3 weighs just 32 grams and has a flight time up to 25 minutes. Operating nearly silent, it transmits live video and high-definition still images back to the operator.
FLIR will manufacture the new systems in Hvalstad, Norway. Deliveries are expected to be completed within six months. To date, FLIR has delivered more than 7,000 Black Hornets to military customers worldwide.