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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

Teledyne, Norway Sign Drone Pact

Contract, worth $48M, is good for at least four years.

A subsidiary of Thousand Oaks-based Teledyne Technologies Inc. entered into a framework agreement with the Norwegian Defence Material Agency to supply its Black Hornet nano, unmanned drones.

The deal between Teledyne Flir Defense and Norway’s military is valued at about $48 million. 

The agreement is valid for four years but can be extended a year at a time for up to three additional years, according to Teledyne, which is a aerospace, marine and digital imaging-products manufacturer. 

Teledyne Chief Executive Robert Mehrabian thanked the Norwegian government and Bjorn Arild Gram, the minister of defense, for their continued support of the Black Hornet, which is designed and manufactured in Norway. 

“With this new agreement, nations cooperating with Norway may also procure the Black Hornet,” Mehrabian said in a statement. “As the world’s leading nano UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) system, Black Hornet delivers covert situational awareness to military units in combat operations – a crucial advantage at a time when European and allied countries confront new threats on the continent and beyond.”

The Black Hornet drone weighs less than one pound and is less than seven inches long. 

Well suited for operations in highly contested environments, nearly silent and with a flight time of up to 25 minutes, the pocket-sized UAV transmits live visible and thermal video to the operator, Teledyne said in its release.

And in another deal with a European country for unmanned systems, Teledyne Flir will supply 127 Packbot 525 autonomous ground vehicles to the German army. (Mark, AP style is that only US military branches are upper case.)

Final shipments of the unmanned Packbot are expected later this month. 

The PackBot 525 is the most advanced model of Teledyne FLIR’s signature ground robot, used by U.S. and international defense forces since 2001, Teledyne said in a release.

Deployed in combat zones from the caves of Afghanistan to the IED-littered roads of Iraq, the rugged, 59-pound PackBot keeps operators safe while conducting a wide range of tasks, such as bomb disposal, close-in surveillance, and situations involving hostages or hazardous materials, the company’s release said. 

Tom Frost, general manager of unmanned ground systems at Teledyne Flir Defense, said that this new delivery of ground vehicles will give Germany’s soldiers more than 100 versatile vehicles, with upgraded features and technology to keep them from harm during dangerous missions.

“PackBot is the world’s most trusted counter-IED robot, and this latest shipment adds to the German Army’s inventory of Teledyne Flir unmanned ground vehicles,” Frost said in a statement. 

Contract award and deliveries were facilitated through Teledyne Flir’s partner, European Logistic Partners (ELP) of Wuppertal, Germany.

“We’re proud to work with ELP and deepen our long-standing relationship with the German army during this crucial and challenging time for European security,” Frost said in a statement.

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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