In a daring leap into the future of military reconnaissance, Teledyne FLIR Defense is placing its bets on a drone so small it can easily nestle in the palm of a soldier’s hand.

Teledyne FLIR Defense, a subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, has unveiled its latest innovation in unmanned aerial vehicles: the Black Hornet 4.

Introduced at the recent Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) annual conference, this remarkable nano-drone is set to revolutionize the way military and reconnaissance operations are conducted—offering superior performance and capabilities in a compact and lightweight design.

The Evolution of Black Hornet Nano-Drones

The Black Hornet series, known for its exceptional utility in military and security applications, has come a long way from its inception.

Its early iteration, the Black Hornet 1, was first introduced by the Norwegian company Prox Dynamics, bought by Teledyne FLIR in 2016, aiming to provide an invaluable tool to soldiers and amp up situational awareness.

Teledyne FLIR Nano Drone
(Image source: Teledyne FLIR Defense)

Its ability to capture real-time imagery during reconnaissance missions despite its small size was nothing short of a remarkable feat of engineering, and from then on, it gained global recognition, particularly after the US Army adopted the micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The Black Hornets 2 and 3 followed, representing significant upgrades over their predecessors. These versions featured improved camera systems, extended flight times, and enhanced stability in various environmental conditions. The US Army’s embrace of the Black Hornet drones provided crucial feedback and practical experience contributing to their refinement.