Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Marines Testing Out World’s Smallest Drone – Defensetech

Marines Testing Out World’s Smallest Drone – Defensetech: Top Marine Corps brass have said they want rifle squads to deploy with drones in the future. And if they deploy with this one, they won’t even notice the weight in their pack.

The PD-100 Black Hornet, made by Proxdynamics of Norway, redefines small when it comes to unmanned aerial vehicles. The pocket-sized black or grey birds, which look like helicopters in miniature, weigh 18 grams–the equivalent of three sheets of paper, Proxdynamics General Manager Arne Skjaerpe told They come equipped with day or night-vision cameras and can be operated using a device reminiscent of a beige Nintendo Wii controller and an attached tablet.

It’s the smallest operational drone in the world by far, he said.

“From our perspective, this was developed to give the dismounted squad its own ISR capability,” Skjaerpe said. “That was the big idea, and still is the big idea.”

And the Marine Corps is buying. Skjaerpe said the service has already purchased a small number of the systems, which come with two birds apiece, for test and evaluation purposes. Marine infantry units got a chance to test them out twice this summer: at the Rim of the Pacific multinational exercise, and at Marine Air Ground Task Force Integrated Experiment 2016, which took place at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, in July.