American defence manufacturer AeroVironment has unveiled its new Switchblade kamikaze drone.
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The Switchblade 300 Block 20 rapidly deployable loitering missile system was announced in a public statement made on 28 March.
The five-pound precision-guided missile reportedly features significant upgrades over the Block 10C version including being lightweight, portable, and can be used by a single operator with longer endurance.
It also has a tablet-based fire-control system to train, plan, and execute missions as well as an integrated control on the launcher tube, an improved digital data Link, new EO/IR panning camera suite, and left-hand commit with continuous positive identification.
“Since pioneering the loitering missile category with Switchblade 300 more than a decade ago, our tactical missile systems have proven to be a game-changing capability for both US and allied forces, providing a remarkably rapid, precise and effective way to address lethal threats,” said AeroVironment tactical missile systems product line general manager and vice-president Brett Hush.
“Switchblade 300 Block 20 will continue to build on the system’s battle-proven legacy.”
The company has advised a deployment time of less than two minutes via tube launch from land, sea or mobile platforms The Block 20 also provides real-time video for use against beyond-line-of-sight targets and cursor-on-target GPS coordinates.