London: Britain has launched a tiny, palm-sized remote-controlled aircraft with three cameras as its latest weapon in the fight against the Taliban.
The eight-inch-long plastic moulded drone has three cameras hidden inside its nose and weighs 15 grams.
It has a smooth grey body and twin black rotors, and stays airborne thanks to a small rechargeable battery.
It can either be piloted directly or programmed to fly to a given set of co-ordinates using GPS, and then return to base after spying on enemy positions.
On most operations, the Black Hornet is controlled by a soldier using a computer game-style joystick.
The whole package, the helicopter, monitor and stick, fit into a pocket-sized case.
The Black Hornet – properly called a Proxdynamics PD-100 Personal Reconnaissance System – is a joint British-Norwegian venture and was passed fit for service in Afghanistan after extensive field trials in Cyprus last year.
Major Adam Foden of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force explained how they used Black Hornet with great success on recent missions into Taliban territory.
“The pictures it delivers back to the monitor are really clear. And Black Hornet is so small and quiet that the locals can’t see or hear it,” he said.