The Black Hornet is the latest and smallest unmanned aerial vehicle becoming available to Army units. It’s equipped with a camera that transmits video back to the person operating the tiny drone. Its Norwegian manufacturer calls it a pair of flying binoculars.
This UAV is intended for use by ground troops to see a target before they arrive. This could give them a sneak peek of what they’re facing, such as the number of enemies, their weaponry, or the layout of their installation. It would also mean that they wouldn’t have to rely on solely on second-hand accounts, but could see it for themselves.
One potential drawback to the system could be its base station. Although the station looks small (about the size of a book), it is one more piece of gear to carry. It could be difficult to keep up with on the go. The drone itself only weighs as much as three sheets of paper. But do not be fooled by its toy-like appearance: it costs tens of thousands of dollars apiece and is designed for combat use.
Under the Radar blog includes the Black Hornet on their list of “the coolest military tech coming in 2016.” Under the Radar also says that PEO-Soldier will be fielding more of these mini-drones in 2016.