British troops in Afghanistan outfitted with tiny handheld surveillance drones
Undated image released by the British Army Monday Feb 4 2013 of Sergeant Scott Weaver, of The Queens Royal Lancers launching a newly issued Black Hornet miniature surveillance helicopter during an operation in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/ Sgt Ruper Frere)
Published Monday, February 4, 2013 6:59AM EST
LONDON -- Britain's military says its soldiers in Afghanistan have been issued with surveillance drones so small they can fit in the palm of your 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.
The military quoted Sgt. Christopher Petherbridge, with Britain's Brigade Reconnaissance Force, as saying troops used the drone "to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing."
The ministry said Sunday that the Black Hornet was developed by Norway's Prox Dynamics AS as part of a 20 million pound (US$30 million) contract for 160 units with southern England's Marlborough Communications Ltd.