Black Hornet: how Norway’s micro drones will help Ukraine?

During the NATO summit, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence announced that it would provide Ukraine with 1,000 Black Hornet Nano drones.

Although they may make you laugh with their size, as they are smaller than even a smartphone, these drones are a crucial element in small tactical operations.

Features and benefits of the Black Hornet micro drone

These micro drones become the “eyes” of the army during tactical operations. They help Ukrainian troops to advance step by step, liberating the Russian-occupied territories.

The most interesting question is the size of this microdrone. Well, it is tiny. With a length of 10 centimetres, its width is only 2.5 centimetres.

This makes it easy to fit in the palm of the operator’s hand. What’s even more impressive is its weight – just over 16 grams with the battery. You wouldn’t want to lose such a baby.

But in fact, such a small size is its great advantage. Unlike its “big brothers” like Mavic or Autel, it remains almost invisible to the enemy.

One Black Hornet Nano kit includes 2 helicopters at once. This way, while the operator is using one of them, the other has time to charge.

The micro-drone can fly at speeds of up to 5 metres per second with wind speeds of up to 8 metres per second. The total flight time is 25 minutes, and the distance is over 1 kilometre.

Despite its tiny size, the Black Hornet, as its name translates, is equipped with cameras and thermal imagers. The operator receives the image online on his display.

Ukrainians already have experience using such micro drones. Norway first started supplying them in mid-2022.

Disadvantages of Black Hornet Nano

There are not so many disadvantages. The main one is the high price of the system. According to the contracts of the 2010s, it could reach $190 thousand.

This system includes a display, a control panel, a charging station, and 2 helicopters. For the same amount of money, you can buy about 75 Mavic 3 Fly More Combo drones, the most common type of UAV on the battlefields of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Of course, over the years, the cost of a microdrone has dropped significantly. As production has become more extensive, micro drones have become in demand, and thus an alternative to the Black Hornets has emerged. But it is still too expensive.

Another disadvantage is the 1-kilometre working distance. This significantly limits the number of tasks that Black Hornet can perform. Even if we compare it with the same Mavic, whose specifications state a 46-minute flight over a distance of up to 6 kilometres.

What tasks can the Black Hornet drone perform?

Despite their shortcomings, drones are a vital element of the current Russian-Ukrainian war, including Black Hornet Nano microdrones. After all, they can truly save the lives of our military. And in such circumstances, their price means nothing at all.

In war, drones perform many different functions. The most common one is reconnaissance. This is the primary task of the Black Hornet.

This is how the UK armed forces used the Hornet during operations in Afghanistan. Operators used them to inspect enemy positions or to “look behind” walls or other obstacles so that infantrymen could enter safely.

Another critical function drones perform in war is the organisation of an operations management system. It’s simple: drones will accompany Ukraine’s military in defensive or offensive operations.

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