FLIR Systems will make mini drones for Aussie Army.
Wilsonville's FLIR Systems has been awarded a $6.8 million order to deliver Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance Systems (PRS) in support of the Australian Army.
FLIR makes sensor systems, such as infra-red cameras, which are used in firefighting and by the U.S. military. The Black Hornet nano drones are small and almost silent. They weigh just 18 grams, have a rotor span of 120 mm, a top speed of 5 meters per second, and can stay up for 25 minutes.
FLIR bought a company called Prox Dynamics in 2016, based in Oslo, Norway . They still operate there as part of the FLIR Government and Defense business unit.
Prox were the original creators of the Black Hornet, and FLIR sold them thermal sensors for use in the Black Hornet.
The units delivered under this firm-fixed-price contract will support platoon and troop level organic surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
The Australian Army has already been testing and evaluating the Black Hornet PRS. The contract for full operational deployment was awarded after a re-competed tender.
"We are pleased to be selected by the Australian Army to provide this previously non-existent personal reconnaissance technology," said Jim Cannon, President and CEO of FLIR Systems. "This recent contract highlights the increasing demand for the Black Hornet to be incorporated within the operational capability of the world's leading militaries, providing immediate deployable security."
FLIR has delivered over 5,000 Black Hornet PRS around the world, reiterating the demand for the relatively new nano-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drone) technology offered by FLIR.
FLIR will manufacture the systems in Oslo, Norway. Deliveries will begin in 2018 and be completed within one year. The company has nearly 3,500 employees.