AWE 17: Royal Marines Test New Black Hornet Micro-Drones
British Army Warfighting Experiment 2017
The British Royal Marines 45 Commando have been testing the new Black Hornet 2 Unmanned Air System at the Army Warfighting Experiment 2017 (AWE 17).
Hand-Held Drones: The Black Hornet Nano
The Black Hornet Nano is a military micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by Prox Dynamics AS of Norway, measuring around 10 × 2.5 cm (4 × 1 in) and weighing just over half an ounce 16 g, including batteries, small enough and light enough to fit in the hand.
Equipped with cameras that give the operator full-motion video and still images, the Black Hornet is designed to provide troops on the ground with local situational awareness. They were originally developed as part of a £20 million contract for 160 units with Marlborough Communications Ltd.
Over 200 personnel from 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, 51 Squadron RAF Regiment and 45 Commando, have been putting new and innovative kit and capabilities through their paces on Salisbury Plain Training Area in Wiltshire this month, as they took part in the third phase of the Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) 17.
World-Class Innovation at AWE 17
AWE 17 has been at the forefront of the drive for world-class innovation at Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) in which businesses and organisations, both large and small, were invited to submit solutions to a range of ‘problems’ set by the AWE team and were able to compete on a level playing field. From the 275 initial submissions, 72 products, from a self-sterilizing water bottle and a 56 foot ‘EasiBridge’ were selected for the project.
AWE has been a unique opportunity for the Armed Forces to refine their future requirements by influencing the development of prospective new capabilities, and for industry to understand the requirements of the Armed Forces.
The ‘Experiment’ culminated in a day of demonstrations and industry stands set up around the village of Copehill Down on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, where visitors, both from the military and industry, were able to see the equipment at first hand and to talk to the specialist manufacturers and troops involved.