British Army Acquires a Tiny Fleet of NANO Drones

The British Army has purchased 30 tiny drones which can be used on the battlefield to assist soldiers.

The British Army has purchased 30 tiny drones which can be used on the battlefield to assist soldiers.

The small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are developed in a joint effort by BAE Systems and a UK-based firm UAVTEK, weigh less than a quarter-pound, and are small enough to fit in the palm of a hand. The military-grade drones also feature a high resolution video camera and boast a flight time of over 40 minutes which allows for the recognizance of targets more than 1.5 miles away. The mini UAV’s can also reach top speeds of 50mph while overcoming adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, and strong winds.

“In even the toughest weather, the Bug can deliver vital tactical intelligence on what’s around the corner or over the next hill, working autonomously to give troops a visual update,” said BAE technologist James Gerard.

The acquisition follows comments by General Sir Nick Carter, head of the UK’s armed forces, who has suggested that as many as 30,000 combined autonomous and remote-controlled machines may be fighting alongside humans within the next decade.

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense has committed almost $90 million dollars to “fast-track military robotic projects onto the battlefield” including mini drones that would provide troops with “an eye-in-the-sky to give them greater awareness to outmaneuver enemies” according to a report by The Guardian.

The report stated that “there were more than 300 ‘mini drones’ in service in the UK armed forces between 2013 and 2016 but cutbacks saw their numbers reduced by more than a third in 2017.

Black Hornet Mk3 nano UAV

Back in May 2019 the British Ministry of Defense had ordered 30 Black Hornet Mk3 nano UAVs with a price tag of about $60,000 each.

Nano 1A UAV Quadcopter “Bug”

The the new Nano 1A UAV Quadcopter “Bug” is claimed to cost only a tenth of the price of the Black Hornet, according to UAVTEK.

Soldiers deployed in Afghanistan have described UAV kits as a “lifesaver,” however some groups oppose the use of autonomous fighting machines arguing that pervasive use of UAVs can lead to a desensitization of the effects of lethal force.

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