The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) has procured a BLACK HORNET Vehicle Reconnaissance Systems (VRS) from FLIR Systems as part of an innovative base protection programme, the company announced on 30 March. The order represents the first sale of an integrated VRS system for FLIR.
FFI is the prime institution responsible for defence-related research and development in Norway. Its ICE worx department is overseeing this technology-driven effort, which includes live testing of new concepts for base protection involving multiple active and passive sensors, command and control systems, as well as threat mitigation and defeat capabilities.
The BLACK HORNET VRS equips armoured or mechanised vehicles with an immediate, self-contained surveillance and reconnaissance system. Adapted from the nano-UAS’ Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS), the VRS extends the capabilities of the award-winning BLACK HORNET. The launch unit, with fully integrated controls inside the vehicle, mounts externally and can deploy up to four drones. The result is a remotely-operated UAS that delivers real-time situational awareness while crews stay protected inside their vehicle.
“Among their many missions, our BLACK HORNET PRS and VRS systems can help reduce the manpower needed to secure base camps, protect forces, or gather actionable intel on the battlefield,” commented Roger Wells, VP and General Manager of the company’s Unmanned Systems & Integrated Solutions business line. “FFI’s programme is a good model of collaboration between Norwegian defense and industry to develop innovative, cost-effective solutions that can save lives. We’re proud to be playing a role.”
The BLACK HORNET is designed and built by FLIR in Norway. The company has also supplied unmanned ground systems to Norwegian military and law enforcement users for over ten years, including a contract last year to provide more than 20 of its PackBot robots to the MoD and the Oslo Police.