FLIR awarded Black Hornet nano UAS Army contract

FLIR Systems has been awarded a $US6.8 million firm-fixed-price order to deliver Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance Systems (PRS) in support of the Australian Army.

According to FLIR, the units delivered under this contract will support platoon and troop level organic surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The Australian Army previously purchased the Black Hornet PRS for test and evaluation purposes, leading to the awarded contract for full operational deployment after a re-competed tender.

President and CEO of FLIR Systems Jim Cannon said the contract provided a new personal reconnaissance capability to Australian Army soldiers. “This recent contract highlights the increasing demand for the Black Hornet to be incorporated within the operational capability of the world’s leading militaries, providing immediate deployable security.”

This contract expands the use of FLIR PRS for Army surveillance and reconnaissance programs.

FLIR acquired Black Hornet manufacturer Prox Dynamics in November 2016. Based in Oslo, Norway and founded in 2007 by pioneers in nano helicopter technologies, the company's PRS features the Black Hornet aerial sensor and a hand controller, a system that is pocket sized and hand-launched by a soldier in the field, enabling a significant advantage in situational awareness and mission planning.

The Black Hornet aerial sensor utilizes FLIR's Lepton micro thermal camera, visible spectrum cameras, advanced low-power rotor technology, and proprietary software for flight control, stabilisation, and communications.

According to FLIR Systems, the nano uav is one of the lightest, stealthiest, and safest in the market, offering a highly advanced, lifesaving surveillance solution for traditional military forces and special operations forces. Weighing 16 milligrams, the Black Hornet helicopter can fly for up to 25 minutes at line-of-sight distances of up to one mile.

FLIR will manufacture the systems in Oslo, Norway. Deliveries will begin in 2018 and be completed within one year.

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