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Norway and UK to donate nUAS to Ukraine

A Black Hornet ready to launch, with the monitor attached to a combat flack vest. The operator is holding the Black Hornet 3 controller. (Teledyne FLIR Defense)

Ukraine will receive a donation of Teledyne FLIR Defense Black Hornet nano-unmanned aerial systems (nUASs) from Norway and the UK, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 24 August.

Norway and the UK will procure the nUASs through a UK-led Ukraine support fund. The acquisition is valued at NOK90 million (USD9.2 million). The donation also includes spare parts, transportation, and training.

In April, Norway contributed NOK400 million towards the fund. The initiative is intended to acquire defence equipment for Ukraine from either industry or third-party countries.

A Norwegian MoD spokesperson was unable to provide further details on the quantity and units involved in the agreement.

According to the announcement, the Ukrainian authorities specifically requested the equipment.

As part of Norway's contribution to the fund, the country will also acquire and donate a SteelRock Technologies ‘Nightfighter' counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) for approximately NOK100 million, the announcement detailed.

Nightfighter is a portable system that utilises a radio frequency effector that can jam and neutralise UASs. The system is particularly suitable for protecting small patrols, artillery positions, and other important resources, the announcement detailed.

Black Hornet is an nUAS that weighs 33 g, has a flight endurance of 25 minutes, and can transmit live video and high-definition (HD) still images to the operator.

Norway's Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said that the donation demonstrates “a new direction for how Western countries support their fight. Until now we and our allies have mostly donated from our own stocks”.

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