UK sends hand-held helicopter drones to war zone
LONDON (AP) - British soldiers in Afghanistan have been issued with surveillance drones so small they can fit in the palm of a man's hand.
The Scandinavian-designed Black Hornet Nano weighs as little as 16 grams - the same as a finch. The 10-centimetre -long helicopter is fitted with a tiny camera which relays still images and video to a remote terminal.
"We used it to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing, which is a real asset," said Sgt. Christopher Petherbridge, with Britain's Brigade Reconnaissance Force. In a statement, he called the Hornet easy to operate and said it offered "amazing capability to the guys on the ground." The military said on Sunday that the toy-like Hornet is capable of flying even in windy conditions.
It said the Hornet was developed by Norway's Prox Dynamics AS as part of a 20 million pound (S$38 million) contract for 160 units with southern England's Marlborough Communications Ltd.