Norway Provides 1000 Black Hornet Reconnaissance Drones to Ukrainian Army

Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram made an announcement on July 12th regarding Norway's plan to provide Ukraine with a significant military support package. The package includes a notable addition of 1,000 Black Hornet reconnaissance drones, along with two NASAMS air defense systems and the necessary spare parts. This article will focus specifically on the provision of reconnaissance drones, while a separate article will cover the NASAMS component of the comprehensive Norwegian package. You can discover the article on the NASAMS part of the package by clicking "Here".
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The Black Hornet features a rotor diameter of 123 mm and a length of 168 mm. It weighs no more than 33 gr. and offers the best in class audio and visual detection signature.(Picture source DVIDS )

On July 12th, Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram announced that Norway plans to provide Ukraine with a new significant military support package. This package includes a notable addition of 1,000 Black Hornet reconnaissance drones.

The Black Hornet is a tactical reconnaissance micro-drone developed by Teledyne FLIR. It is used by non-specialized soldiers to obtain immediate and discreet situational awareness through its advanced electro-optical and infrared vision technology.

This drone bridges the gap between aerial and ground sensors, providing users with the same situational understanding as larger UAVs, as well as unmanned ground vehicle threat detection capabilities. With its extremely lightweight design, sound discretion, and flight duration of up to 25 minutes, the Black Hornet transmits live high-definition videos and images to the operator. It is primarily used for target reconnaissance and identification, providing valuable assistance to soldiers on the battlefield.

This micro-drone has been widely adopted by several allied countries, including the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, due to its versatility and effectiveness. In support of Ukraine's fight against the Russian invasion, Norway and the UK had already decided to donate an initial shipment of Black Hornets, as reported by Army Recognition on August 24, 2023.

The cost of this initial delivery, estimated at approximately 90 million Norwegian kroner ($9.3 million), was funded by the British-led fund, to which Norway contributed 400 million Norwegian kroner ($41.3 million). The package included Black Hornet units, spare parts, transportation, and training necessary for the Ukrainian forces to use these drones.

The Black Hornet was chosen due to its ease of use, robustness, difficulty to be detected, and its ability to operate effectively in urban environments. This investment in reconnaissance drones will enhance Ukraine's capabilities to monitor and identify threats, thereby contributing to its defense operations. The Black Hornet has received excellent feedback from Ukrainian soldiers.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, there has been an explosion in the use of drones in the conflict. The parties involved quickly realized the potential of drones for intelligence, surveillance, and even attack purposes. Armed groups and military forces are employing a variety of drones, ranging from small quadcopters to larger drones equipped with advanced capabilities.

These drones provide a crucial tactical advantage by offering real-time aerial views of the situation on the ground, enabling better operational planning, detection of enemy movements, and target identification. However, this proliferation of drones in the Ukrainian conflict also presents challenges in terms of air defense and security, necessitating appropriate countermeasures to address this emerging threat.