WASHINGTON at Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition, Oct. 3, 2016 – AeroVironment, Inc., a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems for both military and commercial applications, announced the United States Army Close Combat Weapons Systems Project Office has awarded the company a contract for Block 10C Switchblade™ Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile Systems (LMAMS) and support services valued at $22,776,812 through a Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement.Delivery is anticipated within 12 months.
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First deployed by United States forces in 2011, the AeroVironment Switchblade provides warfighters with force protection and precision strike capabilities up to ten kilometers from its launch location, with minimal to no collateral damage and wave-off capability. Block 10C Switchblade, introduced by AeroVironment in May 2016, incorporates improvements based on feedback from users, including encrypted digital communications.
“Switchblade is a mature system, in production, that delivers unmatched force protection and precision strike capabilities to American forces,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.“Soldier-portable and lightweight, Switchblade is a uniquely powerful LMAMS solution for complex combat environments. AeroVironment stands ready, with a proven product, supply chain and production system, to respond rapidly to this and future requirements.”
The Switchblade is designed to provide the warfighter with a back-packable, non-line-of-sight precision strike solution with minimal collateral effects. It can rapidly provide a powerful, but expendable miniature flying intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) package on a beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) target within minutes. This miniature, remotely-piloted or autonomous platform can either glide or propel itself via quiet electric propulsion, providing real-time GPS coordinates and video for information gathering, targeting, or feature/object recognition. The vehicle’s small size and quiet motor make it difficult to detect, recognize and track even at very close range. The Switchblade is fully scalable and can be launched from a variety of air and ground platforms.
Switchblade is operated from AeroVironment’s battle proven ground control system (GCS) with a communications range of greater than 10 km. Our common GCS interfaces with AeroVironment air vehicles (except the Qube®) reducing the level of training required and decreasing the time and cost involved.