The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency has entered into a framework agreement with American technology firm Teledyne FLIR to purchase advanced Black Hornet nano drones.
Valued at 475 million Norwegian krone ($48 million), the deal requires the company to manufacture and deliver an undisclosed number of Black Hornets to the European nation within four years.
According to Teledyne FLIR, the pocket-sized drone can transmit live video and imagery to support various military missions.
It only weighs 33 grams and can fly for up to 25 minutes.
The drone operates with a low acoustic signature and is well-suited for operations in highly-contested, GPS-denied environments.
Norway acquired the nano drones in 2015. Purchasing additional drones will reportedly make the country the largest user of Teledyne’s Black Hornet reconnaissance system.
Delivering ‘Covert’ Situational Awareness
Teledyne Executive Vice President Edwin Roks explained that the Black Hornet can operate day and night in the “most challenging” operational environments.
It can collect data at a maximum range of two kilometers (1.2 miles) and fly up to 22 kilometers (13.4 miles) per hour.
The drone transmits data using an encrypted digital datalink, ensuring secure and reliable communications.
According to Teledyne Chief Executive Officer Robert Mehrabian, the technology is the world’s leading nano unmanned system, providing covert situational awareness to soldiers in combat operations.
“I would like to thank the Norwegian Government and Minister of Defence, Bjorn Arild Gram, for continued support of the Black Hornet, which is also designed and manufactured in Norway,” he said. “With this new agreement, nations cooperating with Norway may also procure the Black Hornet.”
The company said it has already delivered more than 12,000 Black Hornet drones to defense and security forces worldwide.