A reconnaissance drone, often simply called a recon drone, was an automated probe that extended the sensor range of a starship. Drones have a duck system, ECM emitters, and passive and active sensor arrays.

Recon drones played a pivotal part in the Royal Manticoran Navy's defensive strategies and tactics. They were limited by range/response time envelope. If the vessel was too far away, the vessel would not get there in time. (HH2)

Technical data[]

RDs massed approximately 270 tons, making them too large to deploy from missile tubes; they were instead deployed from the ship's boat bays. The drones had a limited range because of their small size.

By 1903 PD, BuWeaps had developed a recon drone with limited faster-than-light capability with a range of only four light-hours. This was a significant development because the ability to communicate FTL had been sought after since man entered space. They carried an extra gravity generator that was used to create extremely dense directional pulses that were picked up by a ship's gravitic sensors.

There were at least three problems with this new technology: a whole new type of fusion generator was developed by BuWeaps because of the enormous amount of power required. The other problem was developing the new drone body. The third problem was that it was slow to put out repetitive pulses. The current pulse rate was nine point five seconds. (HH2)


In 1900 PD, Commander Honor Harrington of HMS Fearless used recon drones as an automated sensor net around the planet Medusa. (HH1)

Harrington and her senior officers also used them to help identify threats to Yeltsin's Star System by the Navy of Masada. They were used as a basic sensor net to help alert the RMN units in the system, and they would later send out more advanced data, after the RMN units would be en route to the area of alarm. A number of recon drones were modified and placed on Grayson Space Navy freighters in a diversion during the second phase of the Battle of Blackbird. (HH2)