Technology 2 min read

US Army To Equip Soldiers With Pocket-Sized Drones

Image Credit: FLIR

Image Credit: FLIR

The US Army will soon equip each soldier with a new nano-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to give them an edge on the battlefield.

Sounds like a mouthful, right? So in simple terms, every soldier on the US Army will soon be getting a pocket-sized drone.

According to a report on the FLIR Systems’ website, the company just received a $39.6 million contract from the US Army to provide personal “Black Hornet” drones to the military.

With the Black Hornet, soldiers can observe their surroundings from a bird’s eye view, giving them a significant advantage on the battlefield.

The Pocket-Sized Drones Specification

These pocket-sized drones are 6.6 inches long and weigh only 1.16 ounces. They can also cover a distance of 1.24 miles at a maximum speed of 20 feet per second.

Finally, the pocket-sized drones can remain airborne for about 25 minutes.

What Tactical Advantage Do the Drones Offer?

The drones will give our soldiers operating at the squad level immediate situational awareness of the battlefield through its ability to gather intelligence, provide surveillance, and conduct reconnaissance,” Army Spokesman Lt. Col. Isaac Taylor told Task and Purpose.

Since the UAV are small and light enough, soldiers can easily carry them on their utility belts.

Aside from the personal drones, the company also expects to deliver highly capable UAVs that can support a platoon. As part of the Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS) program, a highly capable drone could provide small unit level surveillance and reconnaissance.

In a statement to CNET, James Cannon, President and CEO of FLIR,  said the drones offer a critical advantage to every U.S Army squad on the modern battlefield.

As exciting as the UAV sounds, it’s not exactly new tech. According to the Army Times, the US Marines tested a similar technology in the past. Also, the British forces in Afghanistan used similar reconnaissance drones too.

You should also know that the contract is not exclusive to the United States Army alone. FLIR recently announced that it would supply a similar technology to the French Armed Forces.

Although the U.S Army did not announce the possible destination of the drones, reports reveal that a brigade combat team will be the first to test out the drones in the field.

Read More: DARPA’s BCI Chip Allows Pilots to Control Drones Telepathically

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

Comments (2)
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  1. Profile Image
    John Usrey March 27 at 2:10 pm GMT

    Cool, the features of drones are really amazing. Mine, is great for practicing tricks.

    • Profile Image
      Isaac Hesson March 28 at 1:50 am GMT

      I managed to break mine flying full speed into a tree trunk. Got extremely overwhelmed. 😀

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