FLIR Systems has been awarded a second contract worth $20.6 million by the U.S. Army to provide the service with additional miniature reconnaissance drones as part of the ongoing soldier-borne sensor program.
FLIR Systems awarded contract for nano drones
The FLIR Black Hornet 3 Personal Reconnaissance System is a nano-sized unmanned aerial vehicle that makes surveillance capabilities portable for soldiers at the platoon and small unit levels, said Roger Wells, the company's vice president and general manager for unmanned systems and integrated solutions, according to National Defense Magazine.
“It's extremely light, it's very robust, nearly silent with flight times up to 25 minutes, which provides an organic surveillance reconnaissance capability,” Wells said in an interview.
The nano drone is a soldier-borne system that functions as a small situational awareness tool to provide real-time video footage and images of the operating environment.
In January 2019, FLIR Systems was awarded a $39.7 million contract with the service to supply the Black Hornet 3s, Well said. Those systems are currently delivered by the company for fielding. Live video and high-definition images from the drone's sensors are transmitted through a live feed. The information is sent back to an operator across is secure data connection.
“The system's performance capabilities with its integrated sensors are providing soldiers with immediate situational awareness that's tactically relevant,” Wells said. “This allows them to provide [intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance] while still remaining in a covert position.”
The drone is incredibly light weighing about 33 grams and measuring roughly the size smartphone.
“It's almost pocket portable as opposed to rucksack portable and [it] really doesn't add a load burden to the soldiers and servicemen and women that are out there using it,” he said.
FLIR Systems will start delivering the Nano Drones from the new contract later this year, according to Wells
“We anticipate this to be a multi-year program where capability is being provided to the Army through … multiple tranches,” he said.
So far FLIR Systems has delivered more than 12,000 Black Hornet nano drones to more than 40 nations across the world including the British, French, and Australian armies.
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