FLIR Systems, Inc. was recently awarded a $2.6 million contract from the United States Army to deliver FLIR Black Hornet® Personal Reconnaissance Systems (PRS). The units delivered under this contract will support squad-level surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in the Army’s first batch order for the Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS) program.
The United States Army purchased the Black Hornet PRS from FLIR for test and evaluation purposes in both 2016 and 2017. The Army will continue its evaluation and consider broader scale roll out of the Black Hornet for full operational deployment within all infantry units.
Following the receipt of contract, FLIR Systems announced the latest generation Black Hornet® 3 nano-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for use by global militaries, government agencies, and first responders. The Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS) is currently the world’s smallest combat-proven nano-Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and the next generation Black Hornet 3 nano-UAV will add the ability to navigate in GPS-denied environments, enabling the warfighter to maintain situational awareness, threat detection, and surveillance no matter where the mission takes them.
At 32 grams, the Black Hornet 3 offers the lowest SWAP (size, weight, and performance) for UAS currently available. Offering improved speed and distance compared to previous versions, the Black Hornet 3 flies 2 kilometers at speeds of over 21 kilometers an hour. The Black Hornet 3 also incorporates sharper image processing featuring the FLIR Lep-ton® thermal microcamera core and a visible sensor to allow greater image fidelity. The design also features an improved encrypted military-approved digital datalink, enabling seamless communications and imagery significantly beyond line-of-sight and in closed areas. The Black Hornet 3 also seamlessly integrates into the Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) utilized by the military to provide battlefield networks and distribution of information to anyone on the network.
The Black Hornet 3, which includes two UAV sensors, a controller, and display, has already been deployed by the Australian Army and French Armed Forces. Over the past seven years, the Black Hornet PRS has been fielded by over 30 nations, providing small combat units, SWAT teams, and first responders with immediately available intelligence, target-acquisition, and reconnaissance capability.
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