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Originally published Monday, February 4, 2013 at 2:15 AM

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UK sends hand-held helicopter drones to war zone

Britain's military says its soldiers in Afghanistan have been issued with surveillance drones so small they can fit in the palm of your hand.

The Associated Press

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LONDON —

Britain's military says its soldiers in Afghanistan have been issued with surveillance drones so small they can fit in the palm of your hand.

The Scandinavian-designed Black Hornet Nano weighs as little as 16 grams (0.56 ounces) - the same as a finch. The four-inch-long (10-centimeter-long) helicopter is fitted with a tiny camera which relays still images and video to a remote terminal.

The military quoted Sgt. Christopher Petherbridge, with Britain's Brigade Reconnaissance Force, as saying troops used the drone "to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing."

The ministry said Sunday that the Black Hornet was developed by Norway's Prox Dynamics AS as part of a 20 million pound ($30 million) contract for 160 units with southern England's Marlborough Communications Ltd.

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