Submarine Launched Drone
In August, Israeli company Spear debuted its Ninox product line of drones designed to be fired from various launchers. The smallest of these is the Ninox 40, which is intended to be fired from standard 40mm infantry grenade launchers, including those capable of being attached to an individual’s rifle. After launch, four arms pop up laterally on this tube-shaped drone, which weighs less than a pound, morphing it into a small quad-copter.
A second individual controls the UAS via a tablet-like device, which also provides a feed from the drone’s electro-optical and infrared cameras. As such, troops can use the Ninox 40 during the day or at night to scout ahead for potential threats or attempt to find and fix the location enemy during an actual firefight. Spear also says that this drone has automated target recognition and tracking capabilities.
The larger Ninox 66 is similar in function and is intended to be fired from 66mm launchers on vehicles, which are typically used to fire smoke grenades or other obscurants for concealment. Unlike on the Ninox 40, the four arms on this quad-copter-type drone flip up from the base after launch. Spear says this UAS can carry various payloads weighing up to 1.5 pounds and has the ability to be networked together with others to operate as an autonomous swarm.