British Army unveils new 'Black Hornet' drone, used in war against Taliban

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 03, 2013 12:40 hrs

London: The British Army has demonstrated a new spy drone at Camp Bastion, which is their latest weapon against the Taliban.

Codenamed the Black Hornet, the eight-inch long plastic moulded drone, with three hidden cameras inside its body and weighing only 15 grams, was demonstrated by the soldiers from the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF), the Daily Mail reports.

The tiny, remote controlled aircraft, which fits easily into the palm, has a smooth grey body and twin black rotors and stays airborne due to a small rechargeable battery, the paper added.

Soldiers can either pilot it directly or program it to fly to a given set of co-ordinates on the battlefield using GPS, then return to base after spying on enemy positions.

According to the commander of the unit, Major Adam Foden, the Black Hornet is deployed to spy inside compounds of Taliban hideouts and to clear a route through enemy-held spaces.

Adding that the army had used the drone successfully on recent Taliban missions, Foden said that the Black Hornet has an extra advantage of being small and quiet and delivers high-resolution still and moving images.

On most operations the Black Hornet drone is controlled by a soldier using a computer game-style joystick. As the drone hovers near an enemy position, pictures are beamed back to a monitoring station. Pressing a button, a soldier can zoom silently on to a target.

The whole package, the helicopter, monitor and stick, fit into a pocket-sized case.

The Black Hornet - properly called a Proxdynamics PD-100 Personal Reconnaissance System - is a joint UK-Norwegian venture and was passed fit for service in Afghanistan after extensive field trials in Cyprus last year.

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