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Teledyne FLIR lifts the lid on Black Recon at Eurosatory 2024

17th June 2024 - 14:05 GMT | by Damian Kemp in London


Black Recon VRS on display at Eurosatory. The UAS shown, however, will be dissimilar to the planned design. (Photo: Damian Kemp)

Teledyne FLIR has reportedly been developing the system since 2020 with support from the Norwegian Defence Research establishment.

Teledyne FLIR has released details of its Black Recon UAS and accompanying vehicle reconnaissance system (VRS) at Eurosatory 2024 revealing that it may have an added kinetic capability and operate as a sleeping sensor or repeat border patrol to detect activity.

The system has been outlined before but the company has now described the new UAS it is designing and building for the VRS as a 350gm rotary wing platform with five cameras – two day and three thermal – and that the VRS will be able to carry a 100gm payload.

The previous iteration shown in September 2023 at DSEI in London showed it operating with the much smaller Black Hornet. The new VRS, however, will operate with a totally new UAS which is expected to make its first flight in mid-2025 and be ready for market in June or July 2026.

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The company highlighted potential uses such as the deployment of IR beacons and carrying chemical or radiological detectors, as well small explosive devices which could be used against systems such as ground radars.

Development of Black Recon UAS is at an early stage but the effort is focused on stealth with an emphasis on design and materials to reduce radar signal. These capabilities will be combined with autonomy to allows it to operate without transmitting a radio frequency signal.

It is expected the UAS will have an endurance of about 45 minutes, a service ceiling of 3,600m and a speed of 12m/s.

The VRS has been designed to hold three UAS with automatic launch and recovery, with a datalink range of up to 6km and a weight of more than 80kg. Aside from the standalone box variant, a system which can be integrated with vehicles is also being developed.

An operational scenario described by the company was for deployed VRS along a border with intermittent surveillance and overlaying of maps providing an indication of activity along a border or automatic launch if a remote sensor detects activity.

It is believed three European customers, one of them being Norway, have already expressed an interest in the system.

Shephard's Eurosatory 2024 coverage is sponsored by:

BAE Systems

Black Recon

Damian Kemp


Damian Kemp

Damian Kemp has worked in the defence media for 25 years covering military aircraft, defence …

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