Norway, UK to Donate Nano Drones to Ukraine

Norway and the UK are jointly acquiring Black Hornet micro-drones for Ukraine, the Norwegian government announced Wednesday.

An unspecified number of the Teledyne FLIR-built drones and spare parts will be bought from the US firm for 90 million Norwegian Krone ($9.31 million). 

The purchase, including transportation and training costs, is being made through a British-led fund to which Norway has contributed 400 million Norwegian Krone ($41.36 million).

The purchase is being made after Ukraine requested this sort of military equipment for its fight against the Russian invasion, the Norwegian government statement added.

Ideal for Contested Environments

The drone is used for reconnaissance and target identification and is in service with several allied militaries, including the UK and the US.

At 33 grams (less than 0.1 pounds) and 168 millimeters (less than seven inches), the drone’s small size, lightness, and ultra-low noise make it ideal for reconnaissance and target identification in heavily contested and GPS-denied environments, the Oregon-based company stated.

The pocket-sized unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can remain aloft for 25 minutes and transmit live, even thermal video.

$48 Million Drone Purchase

The company claims to have sold more than 12,000 Black Hornets worldwide. 

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency recently signed an agreement with the company to purchase an undisclosed number of the Black Hornets for 475 million Norwegian krone ($48 million). 

The agreement requires the company to manufacture and deliver the drones to the European country within four years.

Additional Norwegian Assistance

The Norwegian government will also purchase a counter-drone system, SteelRock Nightfighter, for Ukraine.

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The 100 million Norwegian Krone ($10.3 million) portable system, manufactured by British SteelRock Technologies, jams UAVs.

It is used to protect “smaller patrols, artillery positions, and other important resources,” according to the Norwegian government.