- Jason Reagan | Drone Life
Management at Oregon-based drone company FLIR Systems better brush up on their French.
The company just landed an $89 million contract from the French Defense Procurement Agency in support of the French Operational Pocket Drone (DrOP) program.
The contract will deploy the company’s FLIR Black Hornet 3 nano-unmanned drone to support French Armed Forces operations.
Currently in use in more than 30 countries, the Black Hornet 3 is part of FLIR’s Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System.
The drone is equipped with electro-optical/infrared sensors and can stay aloft 25 minutes per charge at speeds up to 25 mph for distances up to a mile.
“Black Hornet bridges the gap between aerial and ground-based sensors, provides the same situational awareness and threat detection capabilities as larger unmanned air and ground vehicles,” a FLIR statement noted.
“We are honored to support the French Armed Forces’ mission with the delivery of the Black Hornet PRS and related services,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO at FLIR Systems. “This award strengthens our partnership with the French Armed Forces and our focus on unmanned technology, an emerging area that is strategically critical to FLIR’s business.”
The Black Hornet 3 integrates with the FLIR VRS and includes a vehicle mounted launcher that can discharge several of the diminutive drones skyward while keeping troops out of harm’s way.
FLIR also offers a Black Hornet model that can be used by a single soldier. The system operates within a one-mile radius and provides a live video feed to the operator on a chest-mounted display. The total system, including two aircraft, a controller and the video screen weighs less than three pounds. The controller has been optimized for single-handed operation.
The drone is one of the world’s smallest – about the length of a pen – and is one of the lightest at less than ounce. It uses a single main rotor, versus the more common quad-copter design — virtually undetectable from 15 feet away.
Check out this video from our friends at Roswell Flight Test Crew, as they check out the Black Hornet at the 2017 Xponential show.
Original article at Drone Life, here.
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