US soldiers are patrolling Afghanistan with a new tool that lets them see the battlefield like never before — personal, pocket-sized drones.
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division has deployed to Afghanistan with Black Hornet personal reconnaissance drones — a small, lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle produced by FLIR Systems that can be quickly and easily deployed to provide improved situational awareness on the battlefield.
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Kandahar province in Afghanistan in July from Fort Bragg in North Carolina to replace the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Stars and Stripes reports.
Photos released Saturday by 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division shows a dismounted patrol near in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The paratroopers conducted the patrol to gauge security within the region and to speak to local Afghan civilians about their concerns. During operations, was launched a Black Hornet personal Unmanned Aerial System in support of a dismounted patrol in the region.
“The Black Hornet provided overhead surveillance for the patrol as it gauged security in the region and spoke to local Afghans about their concern,” said in a release.
The first Army brigade to utilize the personal UAS, paratroopers of 3rd Brigade routinely employ the system to provide on-the-ground elements better awareness of their environment and while reducing their tactical risk.
The Black Hornet is a pocket-sized helicopter drone designed to lets soldiers clear access with greater confidence, maneuver with speed, and gain the high ground. The cutting-edge UAS technology delivers fast reconnaissance from the air. Accurate information, rapidly delivered, can greatly enhance troop operations and mission success.
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The Black Hornet can access dangerous hiding places in darkened buildings, caves, and even pipes in daylight, low light, and at night ensuring detection and identification of threats while providing greater security for soldiers monitoring from a safe distance away.
According to open sources, with a 25-minute flight time at ranges of 2 km (1.24 miles) and speeds of 21.49 kph (13.35 mph), the Black Hornet can rapidly and more safely engage targets beyond visual line-of-sight and conduct real-time weapon effectiveness assessment.