FLIR Systems Awarded Further $2.6 Million Contract
The US Army awarded FLIR Systems, Inc., $2.6 million to deliver FLIR BLACK HORNET Personal Reconnaissance Systems (PRS) in support of squad-level surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in the army’s first batch order for the Soldier Borne Sensor (SBS) programme.
The US Army purchased the PRS from FLIR Systems for test and evaluation purposes in both 2016 and 2017. The army will continue its evaluation and consider broader scale roll out of BLACK HORNET for full operational deployment within all infantry units.
“The US Army’s selection of FLIR to provide the BLACK HORNET PRS in this initial delivery of the Soldier Borne Sensor program merepresents a key opportunity to provide soldiers in every US Army squad a critical advantage on the modern battlefield,” said James Cannon, President and CEO of FLIR Systems. “This contract demonstrates the strong demand for nano-drone technology offered by FLIR and opens the way for broad deployment across all branches of the military. We’re proud to provide the highly-differentiated BLACK HORNET PRS to help support the US government to achieve the objective of protecting its warfighters.”
This contract expands the use of FLIR Systems’ BLACK HORNET PRS for military surveillance and reconnaissance programmes. FLIR has delivered BLACK HORNET PRS to 30 nations around the world, and the US Army will receive the latest generation of the system under the SBS programme. Deliveries of these systems will take place in 2018, with the PRS being manufactured in Norway.
This annoncement came out shortly after the Australian Army announced on 24 May it will soon roll out its PD-100 BLACK HORNET PRS across one of its brigades in Brisbane. The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra announced the rollout and sustainment of the PRS is an AU$18 million (U$13.6 million) project and a “key capability milestone for the army as it continues to be a technologically advanced force.”
This comes after manufacturer FLIR Systems announced in October 2017 that it had been awarded a U$6.8 million contract to supply an undisclosed number of its PD-100 BLACK HORNET 2 PRS to the Australian Army. For story, please see here.
Using FLIR Systems’ LEPTON thermal camera and with an endurance of up to 25 minutes, part of the PRS’ 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.
Furthermore, on 2 May, the Defense Ministry of the Netherlands signed a contract with the company to purchase “dozens” of BLACK HORNETs to be used by reconnaissance units of the army and the Marine Corps (Mariniers). The system is being purchased “off the shelf.”