Black Hornet Nano

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Black Hornet Nano helicopter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) (2013)

The Black Hornet Nano is a military micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by Prox Dynamics AS of Norway, and in use by the armed forces of Norway, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Algeria, Ireland, Australia, the Netherlands, Poland, New Zealand, India, Turkey, South Africa, Ukraine and Morocco.[1][2]

Prox Dynamics AS was bought by Teledyne FLIR in 2016 for 134 million dollars[3] and currently manufacturers the Black Hornet. Teledyne FLIR specializes in the manufacture of IR cameras, like the one used on the Black Hornet.[4]


The drone measures around 16 × 2.5 cm (6 × 1 in) and provides troops on the ground with local situational awareness. It is small enough to fit in one hand and weighs 18 g (0.7 oz) with its battery.[5]

The UAV is equipped with a camera which transmits video and still images to the operator. It was developed as part of a £20 million contract for 160 units with Marlborough Communications Ltd.[6][7][8]

An operator can be trained to operate the Black Hornet in 20 minutes. It has three cameras: one looking forward, one straight down, and one pointing down at 45 degrees. A Black Hornet package contains two helicopters and, since a 90% charge is reached in 20–25 minutes, the same as its hovering time, when one needs to be recharged the other is ready to fly.[9] Top speed is 21 km/h (13 mph).[10]

In October 2014, Prox Dynamics unveiled a version of the PD-100 Black Hornet with night vision capabilities, with long-wave infrared and day video sensors that can transmit video or high-resolution still images via a digital data link with a 1.6 km (1 mile) range.[citation needed]

Over 3,000 Black Hornets had been delivered as of 2014.[citation needed]

Black Recon[edit]

The larger Black Recon model was revealed in 2023 after five years of development. Based on the Black Hornet, it is designed to be launched from armored vehicles to give crews better situational awareness. The Black Recon Vehicle Reconnaissance System (VRS) is an 80 kg (180 lb) box bolted onto the chassis of a ground vehicle that contains three UAVs. They can be launched and controlled entirely from the safety of the vehicle's interior and are recovered autonomously. Each Black Recon weighs 350 g (12 oz) and can travel 6 km (3.7 mi) from its launch vehicle with an endurance of 45 minutes. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2025.[11]

Operational history[edit]

In flight, showing its antenna

The aircraft was being used by soldiers from the UK's Brigade Reconnaissance Force at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.[12] Operation Herrick personnel in Afghanistan deployed the Black Hornet from the front line to fly into enemy territory to take video and still images before returning to the operator. It was withdrawn from service in 2016/2017.[13]

Designed to blend in with the muddy grey walls in Afghanistan, and capable of flying for 20 minutes on quiet electric motors, it has been used to look around corners or over walls and other obstacles to identify any hidden dangers and enemy positions. The Black Hornet is connected to the operator with a digital data link and GPS. Images are displayed on a small handheld terminal, which can be used by the operator to control the UAV.[14]

The Black Hornet is launched from a small box that can be strapped to a utility belt, which also stores transmitted data, since the drone itself does not store any data, an advantage if captured. Operators can steer the UAV or set waypoints for it to fly itself.[15]

In October 2013, the British Army had 324 Hornet Nanos in service.[16]

In July 2014, the United States Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) selected the PD-100 Black Hornet after looking at commercially available small-scale UAVs as part of the Cargo Pocket Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (CP-ISR) program. It concluded that further refinements were needed for a U.S. Army role including reconfiguring the data-link, giving it night vision, and improving navigational capability.[17] The Black Hornet was tested with U.S. troops at an event in early March 2015,[18] and Prox Dynamics delivered a PD-100 with upgraded features for special forces testing in June 2015.[19]

By 2015, the Black Hornet had deployed with U.S. Marine Corps special operations teams.[9] Although the Army was seeking a mini-drone for use by individual squads through the Soldier Borne Sensors (SBS) program, the individually handmade Black Hornet was seen as too expensive for large-scale deployment, with a unit costing as much as US$195,000.[20]

In 2018, the US Army bought 60 Hornet 3 drones,[21] and in 2022 another 300.[22] The US Army bought an undisclosed number of Hornet 3 drones in 2023, some of them intended for Ukraine.[22]


By September 2016, the PD-100 Black Hornet was in use by the militaries of 19 NATO-allied countries.[23]


  1. ^ a b c "Eye in the sky: NSG acquires Black Hornet Nano – world's smallest spy cam UAV | India News". Times Now. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Stealth Micro UAV for the Army, Police and Special Forces". iHLS. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  3. ^ "FLIR Systems Acquires Prox Dynamics for $134 Million". Teledyne FLIR. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  4. ^ "What is a Black Hornet drone?". Culturalist Press. 25 July 2023. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  5. ^ "Den norske militærdronen er blitt standardutrustning". (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  6. ^ Adrian Shaw (3 February 2013). "The eight inch spy in the sky: Tiny 'Black Hornet' helicopters snoop in Afghanistan in latest technology helping British troops". Archived from the original on 15 October 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Miniature surveillance helicopters help protect front line troops". GOV.UK. 4 February 2013. Archived from the original on 7 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  8. ^ Matthew Weber (7 February 2013). "The Black Hornet Is A $195,000 Spy Plane That Fits In Your Hand - Gizmo Crazed". Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  9. ^ a b c Marines get a closer look at Black Hornet micro drone Archived 31 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine -, 23 September 2015
  10. ^ 2016 gear: New pistol, mini UAV, ear pro and more Archived 17 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine -, 10 November 2015
  11. ^ With ‘Black Recon,’ Teledyne FLIR offers small, vehicle-launched spy drones. Breaking Defense. 12 September 2023.
  12. ^ a b BritishForcesNews·. "Mini drone gives UK troops extra eyes 06.02.13". BritishForcesNews. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  13. ^ "UK Armed Forces Equipment and Formations 2017" (PDF). UK MOD. 6 July 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Black Hornet spycam is a 'lifesaver' for British troops". BBC News. 13 February 2013. Archived from the original on 11 December 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  15. ^ US Special Forces Are Experimenting With Bug Drones Archived 29 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine -, 28 May 2015
  16. ^ Craig Hoyle (25 October 2013). "Unmanned Taranis has flown, MoD reveals". Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  17. ^ US Army Enhances Pocket-Sized Black Hornet UAV Archived 26 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine -, 23 July 2014
  18. ^ Mini Drones Win Soldier Praise at Army Experiment Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine -, 6 March 2015
  19. ^ PD-100 Black Hornet Micro UAV In US Army Tests Archived 7 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine -, 5 June 2015
  20. ^ Army wants mini-drones for its squads by 2018 -, 3 April 2016
  21. ^ "Army to purchase additional Soldier Borne Sensor Systems". US Army. 21 August 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Teledyne FLIR's $94M US Army deal includes Black Hornet drones for Ukraine". Drone DJ. 27 July 2023. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  23. ^ Marines Testing Out World’s Smallest Drone Archived 31 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine -, 27 September 2016
  24. ^ Coyne, Allie (3 July 2015). "Australian Army tests out drones for surveillance". IT News. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  25. ^ "Black Hornet PRS kan redde liv på missioner". Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  26. ^ "Black Hornet-onbemand verkenningssysteem". 26 October 2018.
  27. ^ "Stealth Micro UAV for the Army, Police and Special Forces". 8 June 2017.
  28. ^ "Digunakan Yonhub TNI AD, Inilah Kecanggihan Drone Intai 'Nano' Black Hornet PD-100". 12 September 2022.
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 October 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ Ripley, Tim (11 July 2017). "British Army retires Black Hornet micro UAV". IHS Janes. Archived from the original on 17 June 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  31. ^ "United Kingdom-Bristol: Military research and technology 2019/S 073-172483 Contract award notice". Official Journal of the EU. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  32. ^ Lee County Sheriffs Office adds new drone to fleet
  33. ^ "Des drones Black Hornet Nano pour les forces spéciales françaises? | Zone Militaire". 28 January 2016. Archived from the original on 5 October 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  34. ^ "Stealth Micro UAV for the Army, Police and Special Forces". 8 June 2017.
  35. ^ Aybars [@aybarsbtr] (20 November 2018). "Turkish Gendarmerie with Black Hornet Nano UAV." (Tweet). Retrieved 3 March 2021 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ Aybars [@aybarsbtr] (23 November 2019). "Gendarmerie with Black Hornet Nano UAV" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 23 November 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2021 – via Twitter.
  37. ^ "Tuzakları bozuyor". (in Turkish). 11 March 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  38. ^ "Norwegian-developed drone to Ukraine". Norwegian Government. 24 August 2022. Retrieved 25 August 2022.

{{|url= Army use black hornet}}