FLIR Systems announced on 7 May that it has been awarded a second contract for its BLACK HORNET 3 Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS) under the US Army’s Soldier-Borne Sensor (SBS) programme.
Valued at $20.6 million (€19 million), the order follows the Army’s initial $39.7 million contract in January 2019, under which the service committed to 9,000 of the nano-UAS, each consisting of two 32g air vehicles. Extremely light, nearly silent and with an endurance of up to 25min, the combat-proven, pocket-sized BLACK HORNET PRS transmits live video and high definition still images back to the operator. Its information feed provides soldiers with immediate covert situational awareness to help them perform missions more effectively.
FLIR is currently against the original contract to the US Army, where they are being issued to help protect and inform the service’s most vulnerable units – the nine-man infantry squad. In total, FLIR has delivered over 12,000 BLACK HORNETS to defence and security authorities worldwide to date. Deliveries against the latest contract will begin from the company’s Norwegian manufacturing facilities in late 2020.
“BLACK HORNET has proven to be a game-changing technology – a small package that can deliver a big edge on the battlefield,” states Roger Wells, VP/General Manager of the Unmanned Systems & Integrated Solutions business line at FLIR. “Enabling warfighters with a full range of integrated unmanned solutions, both in the air and on the ground, is a strategic objective FLIR shares with the military.”