Switchblade 600 loitering missile to equip US Naval Special Warfare craft

by Richard Scott & Robin Hughes

AeroVironment will integrate its Switchblade 600 loitering missile system onto US Naval Special Warfare (NSW) combatant craft under a USD26.1 million contract awarded by the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

Announced by the company on 27 April, the contract will address a requirement for a Maritime Precision Engagement (MPE) capability to defeat asymmetric threats on land and at sea. Both the 18.2 m Combatant Craft Medium (CCM) and the 24.3 m Combatant Craft Heavy (CCH) have been identified as potential host platforms for the MPE capability.

The Switchblade 600 loitering missile system will be integrated with the CCH and CCM platforms to address a US Naval Special Warfare Maritime Precision Engagement capability requirement. (AeroVironment)

The Switchblade 600 loitering missile system will be integrated with the CCH and CCM platforms to address a US Naval Special Warfare Maritime Precision Engagement capability requirement. (AeroVironment)

Based on the same self-contained, tube-launched, collapsible wing, electric propulsion architecture as the earlier Switchblade 300, the larger Switchblade 600 weighs 54.5 kg including the all-up round in the tube, and the fire control system (FCS). It is furnished with a two-axis, four-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 integration of an array of lethality options, including, potentially, an anti-radiation Switchblade 600 variant.

An onboard AES 256 encrypted digital datalink and a Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) GPS deliver resilient communications and signal integrity in electronic warfare environments. A target lock-on capability enables day/night precision engagement of non-line-of-sight hardened static and moving armour targets. Other features include automatic target recognition, selectable attack angle options, a patented wave-off/recommit capability, and a modular payload bay enabling multimission capabilities.

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AeroVironment will integrate its Switchblade 600 loitering missile system onto US Naval Special Warf...

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