The US Army will soon equip some of its troops with tiny personal aircraft (drones), says Stars & Stripes.
1's 508 Air Force Maritime 82 Department's XNUMX Department will begin using the new devices next month in Afghanistan as officials try to find the best way to use them.
FLIR Systems is testing the new Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System in different units. The US military has been testing the drone since 2016 and the company has won three major contracts with US, British and French troops.
In late April, the 82 Airborne 3 Combat Brigade began training with the aircraft, testing a series of scenarios in which the devices could be used.
According with Army Technology, the aircraft are designed to "assist remote soldiers deployed on the battlefield", effectively allowing them to search for an enemy they could not otherwise see.
The company also manufactures a larger version for use in vehicles such as tanks.
The aircraft are tiny - over six centimeters long and weigh 33 grams, making it very easy for soldiers to carry them while on the battlefield.
Each drone has two cameras a normal and a thermal imaging and can send live video or simple pictures to their operators.
Mini drones can fly on their own at a distance of 2 km. Battery life is half an hour. The military expects the devices to eventually become standard equipment for every soldier.
The battalion in Afghanistan that will carry out the tests will try to understand how to "make the system better", according to a brigade spokesman.
The soldiers who used the device seem to have been impressed by its capabilities:
Sgt. Ryan Subers said, "This kind of technology is going to save our lives."