Honeywell announced today that their Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) is going to be deployed in Iraq.
The deployment marks the first time a ducted-fan unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be used during combat missions. The tasks of the MAVs are to identify improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from the sky.
Each MAV is small enough to carry in a backpack and is equipped with video cameras that relay information back to foot soldiers using a portable handheld terminal. The circular vehicle, just 16 pounds and 13 inches in diameter, operates like a small remote-controlled helicopter and can easily fly down to inspect hazardous areas for threats without exposing soldiers to enemy fire.
See this video to see the Honeywell MAV in action. Honeywell recently received two contracts from the U.S. Navy totaling $7.5 million for the manufacture of more than a dozen MAV systems as well as training and deployment support in Iraq.
See also the MAV product page on the Honeywell site.