AeroVironment Introduces Household of Loitering Missile Programs That includes New Switchblade 600, Delivering Precision Strike Capabilities on the Battlefield’s Edge – Drones Information
- Switchblade 600 builds on the battle-proven Switchblade 300, with the patented “wave-off” feature and the ability to re-engage, with increased range, extended endurance and multi-purpose anti-tank ammunition for use against larger, hardened targets
- The lightweight, self-contained Switchblade 600 launch tube system enables the flexible deployment of fixed and mobile platforms on land, in the air or at sea
- Switchblade 600 with advanced gimbal EO / IR sensor suite, precise flight controls and more than 40 minutes of endurance provides instant reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition
- With the new tablet-based fire control system, operators can easily train, plan missions and carry out flight operations
AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAS), today announced the launch of its family of rambling missile systems with the new Switchblade 600. Switchblade 600 builds on the battle-hardened track record of Switchblade 300 to define a new category of lingering extended range missile. The U.S. Army recently awarded AeroVironment a $ 76 million contract to source and support Switchblade 300 systems under the Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS) program. The new, larger Switchblade 600 is based on the same electric propulsion architecture with collapsible wings as the Switchblade 300 and offers advanced capabilities for attacking larger, hardened targets at greater distances.
“Since pioneering the floating missile category with the Switchblade 300 more than 10 years ago, AeroVironment has worked with several new customers to develop scalable variants that can meet new mission requirements,” said Wahid Nawabi, president and chief Executive Officer of AeroVironment. “Now that the US Army has adopted the Switchblade 300 for the LMAMS program, our customers are eager to use the Switchblade 600 because it can target larger, hardened targets more precisely, faster and more cheaply than traditional missile systems. We anticipate that we will continue to expand our family of loitering missile systems to help our customers advance safely across a wider range of missions. “
AeroVironment’s Switchblade missile systems are quick to deploy, extremely maneuverable, have high-performance optics and scalable ammunition payloads, and allow the warfighter to easily launch, fly, track and attack over line of sight targets and light armored vehicles with deadly and minimal or no effects beyond collateral damage. A required man-in-the-loop arming sequence provides positive target confirmation, while the patented AeroVironment “Wave-Off” function and the re-committing function offer the operator the unique opportunity to cancel an attack within seconds of impact, to avoid collateral damage and then reactivate it – activate targets on command. Additionally, the small form factor of each system and low acoustic, visual, and thermal signature make it difficult to spot, spot, or track even at close range.
The Switchblade 300 with a weight of only 2.5 kg is packable and can be deployed in less than 2 minutes via the launch tube in which it is transported, which can be easily integrated into land, air or sea platforms. Once in the air, Switchblade 300 can be operated remotely or autonomously and offers up to 15 minutes of tactical reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA). Real-time video and cursor-on-target GPS coordinates provide situational awareness, information gathering, target acquisition, and feature / object recognition. Switchblade 300 combines a speed of 100 miles per hour with advanced ammunition delivery, providing the warfighter with fast response and precise target tracking against static or mobile threats with little collateral damage.
This all-in-one portable solution for people weighing 22.7 kg (50 pounds) includes everything needed to launch, fly, track, and attack out of line of sight targets with lethal effects. It can be up and running in less than 10 minutes. Protocol. Switchblade 600 is deployed from the launch tube in which it is transported to allow flexibility for launching from ground, air, or vehicle platforms at extended distances. This provides operators with superior force over-adjustment while minimizing exposure to direct or indirect hostile fires. With a speed of 115 mph and an anti-tank warhead on board, Switchblade 600 has the firepower to activate and track hardened static and moving light armored vehicles from multiple angles with precisely localized effects while minimizing collateral damage.
Equipped with a powerful EO / IR gimbal sensor suite, precise flight controls and more than 40 minutes of flight time, Switchblade 600 offers unparalleled tactical reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA). This allows the Switchblade 600 to travel up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) to a target area before performing multiple confirmation orbits and target tracking – without the need for external ISRs or assets being fired. If non-combatants are observed in the vicinity of the target, the operators can, thanks to the patented “wave-off” function and re-engagement function of Switchblade, cancel the mission at any time and then attack several or other targets several times again depending on the operator command.
Also new with Switchblade 600, AeroVironment is introducing a tablet-based touchscreen fire control system (FCS) with route guidance and the option of manually or autonomously controlling the loitering missile. In combination with the integrated mission planner and training simulator, the FCS offers operators an intuitive platform to plan and execute missions easily and precisely, while reducing cognitive load. In addition, built-in AES 256 digital encryption and SAASM GPS provide the security, resilient communication, and signal integrity necessary to defend against electronic warfare capabilities used by peer and near-peer adversaries in competitive environments.
“Providing an unprecedented combination of accuracy, control and target impact, the Switchblade 600 fulfills missions previously carried out with Fire and Forget missile systems that received more than $ 1 billion in US Department of Defense procurement funds in fiscal 2020 added Mr. Nawabi. “As a result of our continued innovation at the intersection of robotics, sensors, software analytics and connectivity, Switchblade 600 offers our customers next-generation capabilities for operations against any adversary in any threat environment.”
When precision matters, the AeroVironment family of loitering missile systems provides the actionable intelligence and precision firepower required for mission success on a variety of increasingly complex fronts. The looming missile systems from AeroVironment can be used flexibly from fixed positions on the ground and offer combat vehicles with integrated precision fire control as well as air or sea platforms. They provide field commanders with precision lethality in multiple domains.
AeroVironment is now taking orders for Switchblade 300 and Switchblade 600 and is expected to ship in 2021. For more information on AeroVironment’s loitering missile systems, please visit www.avinc.com/tms.
About AeroVironment Tactical Missile Systems
Switchblade® 300, Switchblade® 600 and Blackwing ™ form the basis for the emerging family of tactical missile systems from AeroVironment. Switchblade 300 is a backpack, quick-deploy, precision-attack missile for out-of-line-of-sight targets that minimizes collateral damage and can be tube-fired from land, sea or air platforms. Switchblade 600 is a portable, rapid deployment, extended range precision missile for use against hardened targets without line of sight. Blackwing is a variant of Switchblade that offers responsive information, surveillance and reconnaissance functions and can be launched from surface ships, submerged submarines and unmanned underwater vehicles. Switchblade 300 and Blackwing are compatible with AeroVironment’s Multipack Launcher (MPL), a remote-controlled all-weather starter battery that can be integrated into land, ship or mobile operation. Please visit www.avinc.com/tms for more information.
About AeroVironment, Inc.
AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) provides technology solutions at the intersection of robotics, sensors, software analytics, and connectivity that deliver more actionable information so you can move with confidence. AeroVironment is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is a leading global provider of unmanned aerial systems and tactical missile systems. It serves defense, government, and commercial customers. More information is available at www.avinc.com.