British Army deploys ‘pocket drones’ in Afghanistan

1-youtubescWhat was born and raised in Scandinavia, loved by the British, and still looked upon with a jaundiced eye by the Americans? No, not the latest incarnation of Ace of Base or ABBA, but the latest in military robotics; the so-called pocket drone.  As reported by Fox News and also by Russia Today, both on July 26, 2014, our British allies have taken a Norwegian bit of technology and already successfully deployed the ultra-miniature spy helicopter to the battlefield in South-Central Asia.

Sporting the nom de guerre that sounds more like a comic book hero, the Black Hornet is already making a difference for Her Majesty’s Armed Forces fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan. A product of Norway’s Prox Dynamics, the PD-100 Black Hornet Block II Personal Reconnaissance System is literally small enough to fit in the palm of the hand.

Armed with three separate cameras, the Black Hornet has proven to be more than handy in locating concealed in-close enemy troop concentrations. The Prox Dynamics official website touts their pocket drone as tipping the scales at an almost unnoticeable 16 grams, which equates for us Yanks to barely over half an ounce – which happens the same weight of three sheets of paper. Capable of whizzing along a rather quick 10 meters (10.9 yards) per second, the short-distance reconnaissance device has enough juice to stay aloft for upwards of a full 25 minutes.

Obviously interested in the European miniaturization of unmanned aerial warfare, the U.S. Army recently released their own press release via their official homepage to announce our Armed Forces is now actively developing our own version. But don’t expect the very official sounding Cargo Pocket Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance program, or CP-ISR, to hit the street anytime soon for the American fighting man. Despite the Brits already proving the pint-sized surveillance system is a winner on the field of battle, the CP-ISR is scheduled to still be in the research and testing phases at least through the remained of 2014.