A state-of-the-art handheld nano helicopter equipped with surveillance have been used for the first time by the military. The miniature helicopter was used by British troops in Afghanistan to provide them with a ground visual and situational awareness. The helicopter is found quite useful in protecting the troops on the front line.
The helicopter first used by the British troops on October 25 of 2013 was the Black Hornet, a remote-control helicopter with camera. The small helicopter was mounted with an even smaller camera. The camera provides both still images and fly motion video to the troops. This technology’s usage was ideal for seeing what obstacles could be beyond a wall or around a corner. Awaiting danger is easily identified by the troops before it is approached. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was created by Prox Dynamics As. The company out of Norway developed the helicopter as a part of a contract for 160 units. The standing contract the company has is with a company in Surrey by the name of Marlborough Communications Ltd. The Black Hornet is currently in use by the Norwegian Armed Forces as well. There is currently 324 Black Hornets in use.
The size of the Black Hornet, which can be closely compared to a children’s toy, makes it effortless to be carried by the troops. It is measured at four inches by one inch in size and it weighs only a mere sixteen grams with the batteries included. The size is also a great factor when there are harsh outside conditions, it will still be able to perform through them.
A Sergeant of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force gave the helicopter great reviews after using it while in Afghanistan. He stated that it the Black Hornet was easy to operate and has amazing capabilities. He said the they used the helicopter to look for insurgent firing point and check out any exposed areas before they were crossed.
The Black Hornet is extremely beneficial for several reasons. One is in the way that it places surveillance right in the troops hands. It also offers an amazing amount of protection to the troops.