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 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • Senior Development Engineer, Electronics

    Premium job

    Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation
    • Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire
    • Competitive

    We are an innovative, robust and fast growing business, whose main focus is to deliver continues improvement to existing products and offer new sol..

    • Recruiter: Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation

    Apply for this job

  • Smart Grid Research Engineer

    Premium job

    University of Strathclyde
    • Cumbernauld, Glasgow
    • Grade: 6/7* £26,537 - £37,768*

    Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Asset Specialist

    Affinity Water
    • Hatfield, Hertfordshire

    Responsible for updating and writing electrical engineering standards, approved codes of practice and safe systems of work

    • Recruiter: Affinity Water

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Electronics Engineer

    York Instruments
    • York, North Yorkshire

    Senior electronics engineer to work as part of a team developing an MEG imaging system; working with the engineering team and external contractors.

    • Recruiter: York Instruments

    Apply for this job

  • Manufacturing Engineer - Circuit Card Assembly

    MBDA
    • Lostock Junction
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What’s the opportunity?   Manufacturing UK is an integral part of the Operations Directorate whose principal mission is to ensure that MBDA’s deliverable commitments are met...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • High Voltage Engineer

    Premium job

    Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment
    • Great Dunmow, Essex

    This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.

    • Recruiter: Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment

    Apply for this job

  • Team Leader - Flank Arrays

    BAE Systems
    • Barrow-In-Furness, Cumbria, England
    • Negotiable

    Team Leader - Flank Arrays Would you like to work in a unique role within the construction of the Astute Class submarines? We currently have a vacancy for a Team Leader - Flank Arrays at our site in Barrow-in-Furness. As a Team Leader - Flank Arrays, you

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics and Software Engineer

    Copley Scientific Ltd
    • Nottingham
    • circa £35,000 per annum + bonus

    Develop new test equipment for the pharmaceutical industry. Good opportunities to grow and develop. Successful family-owned and managed business.

    • Recruiter: Copley Scientific Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Bridge Test Facility Manager

    BAE Systems
    • Shropshire, Telford, England
    • Negotiable

    Bridge Test Facility ManagerWe currently have a vacancy for a Bridge Test Facility Manager at our site in Telford with our Land UK business.As the Bridge Test Facility Manager, you will be part of our Test & Trials team, working closely with the Mili

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Intelligent Transport Systems Engineer - Highways Technology

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Birmingham, West Midlands

    Our transport technology team in Birmingham is currently growing a highly skilled and customer-focused team to...

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    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