Black Hornet 4 represents the next generation of lightweight nano-drones, building on its predecessor to deliver enhanced covert situational awareness to small units. A new 12-megapixel daytime camera with superior low-light performance, plus new high-resolution thermal imager, deliver crisp video and still images to the operator. At just 70 grams, Black Hornet 4 has a flying time of more than 30 minutes, range greater than two kilometers, and can fly in 25-knot winds. Flight performance has been augmented by new obstacle avoidance capabilities and an advanced battery.
Compared to small quad-rotor drones, the single rotor Black Hornet 4 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has an extremely low visual and audible signature, enabling it to identify threats day or night without being detected. Able to launch in less than 20 seconds and well suited for missions in GPS-denied environments, the Black Hornet 4 UAV can be used to rapidly identify targets beyond visual line-of-sight and assess weapon effects in real-time.
“Black Hornet 4 takes the features and capabilities that made Black Hornet 3 world renowned to the next level,” said Dr. JihFen Lei, executive vice president and general manager of Teledyne FLIR Defense. “We’ve worked closely with customers and end users to make this system even more valuable for dismounted soldiers in need of situational understanding or engaged in covert operations, where precise and immediate intel is crucial.
“Black Hornet 4 is future-proof nano-drone technology,” Lei added.
Teledyne FLIR Defense has delivered more than 20,000 Black Hornet PRS systems to military and security forces in over 40 countries. Black Hornet drones are currently being used in Ukraine through donations made by the British and Norwegian governments, where they have performed successfully in numerous missions under the harshest of environments.
The U.S. Army began acquiring Black Hornets five years ago as part of its Soldier Borne Sensor program and since then has placed orders totaling more than USD 125 million. In July, the Army awarded Teledyne FLIR a five-year contract worth up to $94 million for additional Black Hornet systems.