US troops in Afghanistan will soon be testing a small pocket-sized drone in the field

The US Army will soon equip some units in the field with small personal drones, reports Stars & Stripes. The 1st Battalion of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division will use the devices in Afghanistan next month while the army is working to find out how they can best be used.

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FLIR Systems has tested the Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System with a variety of units – the US Army started testing the drone in 2016 and 2017, and the company won three major contracts with the American, British, and French soldiers this year. End of April, the 82nd Airborne & # 39; s 3rd Combat Brigade began training with the drones, where different scenarios are played in which the devices can be used. According to Army technologythe drones are designed to assist "matched soldiers deployed on the battlefield," allowing them to explore essentially nearby terrain and find enemy soldiers they might not otherwise see. The company also recently launched a larger version for use for vehicles, such as tanks.

The drones are small – just over six centimeters long and weigh 33 grams, so soldiers can easily carry them in the field. Each drone has a pair of cameras & # 39; s and thermal imaging cameras & # 39; s and can send live videos & still images back to their operators. They can also fly independently, have a range of 2 kilometers and can fly for almost half an hour. The army expects the devices to eventually become a standard piece of equipment for its soldiers.

The battalion in Afghanistan will work to find out how & # 39; the system can be used optimally & # 39 ;, according to a brigade spokesperson. Soldiers who used the device were impressed by the possibilities: Sgt. Ryan Subers noted that "this type of technology will be life-saving for us because it takes us out of trouble and improves our ability to perform any combat mission wherever we are."

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