Police, State Security and Special Forces Show Interest
Taking advantage of the Securex exhibition in Johannesburg at the end of May, FLIR Systems has been demonstrating the BLACK HORNET micro UAS to potential customers in South Africa through its local agent, Desert Wolf.
The PD-100 BLACK HORNET 2, manufactured by Norwegian company Prox Dynamics, which was acquired by FLIR Systems late last year for $134 million, has been demonstrated to the police service and the state security agency as well as special operations groups of the armed forces, all of which have shown a degree of interest. Using FLIR Systems’ LEPTON thermal camera and with an endurance of up to 25 minutes, part of the UAS’ attraction is its light weight (18g) which dramatically reduces the prospects for casualties or collateral damage in the event of a crash for any reason.
Originally developed in 2007 and continually enhanced since then, BLACK HORNET has seen service in Afghanistan since 2011, where the UK, as launch customer, was also the first to deploy it operationally. Since then it has been ordered by 20 countries and production is up to 20 platforms per week. Australia and the US are among the nations that have conducted in-depth evalusations of the system.