UK sends hand-held drones to war zone

Last updated 16:28 05/02/2013
Black Hornet Nano
©Crown copyright 2012

NO TOY: The Black Hornet Nano resembles a child's plaything but has a deadly purpose.

A prototype mini drone

Relevant offers

National News

Controversial event medic Shane Casbolt launches ad campaign for mobile detox service Hinton's hot topics: Blues-Chiefs, ABs contenders, Dagg's return and sevens shift Lions tour: Bryn Gatland remains in NZ Provincial Barbarians' extended squad Jane Campion: the Kiwi director talks success and Top of the Lake's second season Cristiano Ronaldo captains Portugal squad to face All Whites at Confederations Cup Hot dates to hard landing: Why being the Bachelor isn't all wine and roses One dead in Northland after truck crash on notorious stretch of road Nostalgic for a past that was never there and optimistic for a future that won't arrive Why accepting that life sucks leads to happier holidays Retro design trends that could be devaluing your home

British soldiers in Afghanistan have been issued with surveillance drones so small they can fit in the palm of a man's hand.

The Scandinavian-designed Black Hornet Nano weighs as little as 16 grams - the same as a finch. The 10-centimetre -long helicopter is fitted with a tiny camera which relays still images and video to a remote terminal.

"We used it to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing, which is a real asset," said Sergeant Christopher Petherbridge, with Britain's Brigade Reconnaissance Force.

In a statement, he called the Hornet easy to operate and said it offered "amazing capability to the guys on the ground."

The military said Sunday that the toy-like Hornet is capable of flying even in windy conditions.

It said the Hornet was developed by Norway's Prox Dynamics as as part of a £20 million-pound contract for 160 units with southern England's Marlborough Communications.

Drones of all shapes and sizes have rapidly become a mainstay of US, British and other nations' military operations around the world.

Late last year the UK said it was doubling the size of its armed drone fleet in Afghanistan to 10 with the purchase of a new batch of Reapers.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content