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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Army Buys Teledyne’s Tiny Drones

$14 million contract latest win for Black Hornet.

Teledyne Flir Defense won an additional $14 million contract to continue to supply its tiny Black Hornet 3 nano drone aircraft to the U.S. Army. 

The advanced nano unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) augment squad and small unit-level surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities as part of the Army’s Soldier Borne Sensor program, according to a release from Teledyne Flir parent, Teledyne Technologies Inc., the Thousand Oaks aerospace, marine and digital imaging products manufacturer. 

The Pentagon began purchasing the Black Hornet drone from Flir in 2018, and in total it has placed orders totaling nearly $115 million for the multi-faceted nano drone.

Extremely light and well suited for operations in contested environments, nearly silent, and with a flight time up to 25 minutes, the combat-proven, pocket-sized Black Hornet transmits live video and high-definition still images to the operator. Its information feed provides soldiers with immediate covert situational awareness to help them perform missions more effectively, according to the Teledyne release. 

JihFen Lei, executive vice president and general manager of Teledyne Flir Defense, called the Black Hornet “one tough small package” that could give warfighters much needed situational understanding before undertaking dangerous operations.

“We are proud to support the Army’s Soldier Borne Sensor program for more than three years and will continue to invest in (nano-unmanned aerial systems) technologies that are changing today’s battlefield,” Lei said in a statement. 

The Black Hornet 3 is designed and built by Teledyne Flir in Norway. Deliveries of the latest orders will begin midyear.

To date, Teledyne Flir Defense has delivered more than 20,000 Black Hornet nano-UAVs to defense and security forces worldwide.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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