Miniature spy helicopters launched by British Army

4 February 2013
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
Mobile version
Share |
Sergeant Scott Weaver, of The Queens Royal Lancers, launches a Black Hornet Nano UAV from a compound in Afghanistan (credit MoD)

Sergeant Scott Weaver, of The Queens Royal Lancers, launches a Black Hornet Nano UAV from a compound in Afghanistan (credit MoD)

British troops in Afghanistan have demonstrated new state-of-the-art handheld nano surveillance helicopters.

The Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) measures around 4in by 1in (10cm x 2.5cm) and provides troops on the ground with vital situational awareness.

The Scandinavian-designed Black Hornet is equipped with a tiny camera which relays reliable full-motion video and still images to troops.

Soldiers are using it to peer around corners or over walls and other obstacles to identify any hidden dangers and the images are displayed on a handheld terminal.

They can either pilot it directly or program it to fly to a given set of GPS co-ordinates on the battlefield, then return it to base after surveilling the enemy.

This revolutionary new system – the size of a child’s toy – is carried easily on patrol and is capable of performing in harsh environments and windy conditions.

The Black Hornet weighs as little as 16g and has been developed by Prox Dynamics of Norway as part of a £20m contract for 160 units with Marlborough Communications in Surrey.

Sergeant Christopher Petherbridge of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in Afghanistan said: "Black Hornet is definitely adding value, especially considering the lightweight nature of it. We use it to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing, which is a real asset.

"It is very easy to operate and offers amazing capability to the guys on the ground."

The Black Hornet was declared fit for service in Afghanistan after extensive field trials in Cyprus last year.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said: "Black Hornet gives our troops the benefits of surveillance in the palm of their hands. It is extremely light and portable while out on patrol.

"Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems are a key component in our 10-year equipment plan and now that we have balanced the Defence Budget we are able to confidently invest in these kinds of cutting-edge technologies."

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1604

"Should the UK's engineers be in or out of Europe? The IET sets out its official position on the EU referendum this week - will you agree?"

->

E&T jobs

  • Solutions Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Mechanical Engineer

    Bristol Water
    • United Kingdom
    • £41,000 - 49,000

    We serve a population of over one million people and all the associated businesses in an area of 1,000 square miles centered on Bristol.

    • Recruiter: Bristol Water

    Apply for this job

  • Software Renewals Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Preston, Lancashire, England
    • Negotiable

    Software Renewals Manager Would you like to work in a resourceful and developing role within IT Services? We currently have a vacancy for a Software Renewals Manager at our site in Preston Channel Way. As a Software Renewals Manager, you will be responsi

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Technical Manager

    Aggregate Industries
    • Hulland Ward, Ashbourne
    • Attractive salary plus comprehensive benefits

    A key Technical Manager role driving product improvement and compliance with Aggregate Industries, market leader in Construction Solutions.

    • Recruiter: Aggregate Industries

    Apply for this job

  • Field Application Engineer

    Intel
    • Madrid

    Responsible for giving product presentations to the customer describing how Intel products provide the optimum solution to their application.

    • Recruiter: Intel

    Apply for this job

  • Engineers and Scientists

    European Patent Office
    • Munich and The Hague
    • See job description

    We are looking for Engineers and scientists in various technical fields for our locations in Munich and The Hague.

    • Recruiter: European Patent Office

    Apply for this job

  • Director of Product Management

    EMS Recruitment Group
    • West Yorkshire
    • Circa £70,000 PA + car allowance, excellent benefits including lucrative bonus scheme

    Our client is the undoubted world leader in their field. A highly innovative and progressive specialist electro-mechanical product manufacturer....

    • Recruiter: EMS Recruitment Group

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer

    Premium job

    Scottish Prison Service
    • Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh
    • £40,654 to £48,579 plus annual supplement of £10,000

    Build Your Engineering Career. The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) is an Agency of the Scottish Government, working in partnership.....

    • Recruiter: Scottish Prison Service

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Installation and Commissioning Engineer

    Premium job

    Crest Solutions
    • Corby
    • Competitive

    You will be involved in installation, commissioning & servicing of printing and machine vision related solutions.

    • Recruiter: Crest Solutions

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T