AeroVironment unveils Switchblade 600 loitering missile system

by Robin Hughes

AeroVironment Inc. has disclosed development of a new category of medium-sized, man-portable loitering missile system designed to deliver tactical reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) and enhanced precision multi-purpose/anti-armour effects at extended ranges.

Developed in close co-operation with “a number of US Department of Defense [DoD] customers”, the Switchblade 600 builds on, and combines with, the in-service, combat-proven Switchblade 300 loitering weapon system and the Blackwing loitering reconnaissance system to form the core of an emerging family of scalable multi-mission loitering missile systems.

“Switchblade 600 is a result of working closely with our DoD customers. They wanted the same features of the 300 but with greater effects, greater stand-off range, and extended endurance,” said Todd Hanning, Product Line Manager, Tactical Missile Systems at AeroVironment.

Switchblade 600 is the latest addition to AeroVironment’s emerging family of tactical loitering missile systems. (AeroVironment)

Switchblade 600 is the latest addition to AeroVironment’s emerging family of tactical loitering missile systems. (AeroVironment)

Based on the same self-contained, tube-launched, collapsible wing, electric propulsion architecture as the backpackable Switchblade 300, the larger Switchblade 600 weighs 54.5kg (including the all-up round in the tube, and the fire control system – FCS), and is furnished with a 2-axis, 4-sensor gimballed (dual electro-optic and infrared) integrated sensor suite, and a multipurpose/anti-armour warhead, derived from the FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank guided missile, equipped with a height of burst sensor. A modular payload bay provides for the future integration of an array of different lethality options, including, potentially, an anti-radiation Switchblade 600 variant.

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AeroVironment Inc. has disclosed development of a new category of medium-sized, man-portable loiteri...

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