By Matthew Roscoe • 25 August 2022 • 16:48
Black Hornet micro-drone being jointly developed by Norway and Great Britain for Ukraine. Image: Norway Government/Official
The cost of the Black Hornet project will be up to NOK 90 million (€8,781,429.89), the Norwegian government announced on Wednesday, August 24.
The package includes Black Hornet units, spare parts, transportation and training. This will be financed by the British-led fund to which Norway has contributed NOK 400 million.
Ukrainian authorities have asked for this type of equipment in the fight against the Russian invasion.
Norway’s Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said: “The Norwegian-developed drone is a global market leader. It is used in a number of allied countries, including the United States and Great Britain. The drone is used for reconnaissance and target identification. It is easy to operate, robust, difficult to detect and particularly well suited for combat in urban areas.”
The micro-drone will be acquired from Teledyne Flir, as a call-off on a framework agreement that The Norwegian Defence Material Agency has. Procurement, training and delivery of the material is done in collaboration with and coordinated by the British authorities.
Close cooperation with the defence industry will be crucial to continued key deliveries of military equipment to Ukraine in the future. This cooperation also ensures that Ukraine has more modern and efficient weapons and systems.
“The donation marks that we stand by our commitment to continue supporting Ukraine, but it also entails a new direction for how Western countries support their fight. Until now we and our allies have mostly donated from our own stocks,” Gram said.
An anti-drone system will also be purchased for approximately 100 million of the Norwegian funds for the fund. The system chosen is the anti-drone system Nightfighter from British SteelRock Technologies.
SteelRock Nightfighter is a portable system that provides protection against drones through effective jamming. The system is particularly suitable for protecting smaller patrols, artillery positions and other important resources
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Norway and the UK remain determined to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ukraine. These cutting-edge drones will help give Ukraine’s troops a vital advantage on the battlefield as they fight to defend their country against Putin’s brutal and unprovoked invasion.”
On May 11, it was revealed that Ukraine’s unprecedented use of small commercially available drones was giving them the edge over Russia in the war.
Operable by anyone, these small drones are being used not only to record the war but also to provide valuable intelligence to Ukraine’s armed forces, as they work to repel the invading Russian troops.
Valerii Iakovenko, the founder of Ukrainian drone company DroneUA, told Wired at the time: “Drones changed the way the war was supposed to be.
“It is all about intelligence, collecting and transferring data about enemy troops’ movements or positioning, correcting artillery fire. It is about counter-saboteurs’ actions, and it is of course search-and-rescue operations.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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