AeroVironment has introduced new additions to its Switchblade family of loitering missile systems designed to handle munitions and electro-optical/infrared payloads for detecting, tracking and engaging targets beyond the line of sight.
The company's Switchblade 300 and 600 small munition systems utilize tablet-based fire controls technology as well as visual and thermal signatures to engage targets at extended ranges, AeroVironment said Thursday.
The lightweight loitering missiles can be launched from combat vehicles, fixed-ground assets, aerial systems and maritime platforms for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition operations.
Switchblade 600 weighs over 50 pounds and builds on the tube-launched 300 version that uses electric propulsion, real-time video, object recognition and GPS-based situational awareness elements.
The 600 configuration also features gimbal-based EO/IR sensor technologies, digital control systems and flight capacities of 50 miles or 40 minutes.
Previously, the U.S. Army awarded AeroVironment a $76M contract to supply Switchblade 300 systems for the Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System initiative.
Wahid Nawabi, president and CEO of AeroVironment, said the company anticipates further expansion of the Switchblade line to address “a broader set of missions.“
AeroVironment is accepting orders for the 2021 delivery of both Switchblade platforms.