US Special Forces are testing a tiny bug-like drone that could change the future of warfare.
The teeny flying robot, called the PD-100 Black Hornet, weighs 18 grams with cameras and fits in the palm of your hand. The device, which can fly for up to 25 minutes with a range of 0.06 miles, also features both regular and thermal cameras.
Designed by the Norwegian company Prox Dynamics, the drone’s minuscule size and embedded technology make it an ideal tool for covert missions. The British military began implementing the device to soldiers in 2013, and now the US military is apparently showing interest.
According to a report by Defence One, U.S. Special Forces has obtained a “handful” of the PD-100 Black Hornets.
The stealth device can be flown autonomously with its GPS autopilot feature or it can be manually controlled. The device is so small it can be stored in a small pack that can be worn on the body for easy access.
While the device may look like a toy, it’s certainly not priced like one. One PD-100 Black Hornet prices at about $US40,000. But considering the Pentagon plans to spend approximately $US2.9 billion on unmanned system for the fiscal year of 2016, according to the Drone Center at Bard College, the $US40,000 price tag doesn’t seem so significant.
The US military is showing an increasing interest in tiny drones these days.
Reports earlier this week revealed that the military is in the early stages of developing its own mini-drones. According to Military.com, these drones are built to swarm in a manner that would confuse enemy radar systems. In other words, the small devices could potentially overwhelm the enemy by providing so many targets that they find it hard to take them down.
The devices could also be used to cover an area with sensors so that they could survey an area and collect data.