defence connect logo



Australian Defence Force gets the green light for Switchblade loitering munitions

Australian Defence Force soldiers will be equipped with the Switchblade 300 precision loitering munitions under a new announcement.

Australian Defence Force soldiers will be equipped with the Switchblade 300 precision loitering munitions under a new announcement.

The acquisition of the precision loitering munitions, manufactured by American defence contractor AeroVironment Inc, was announced by Australian Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy on 8 July this year.

The Switchblade 300 loitering munition is a lightweight, miniature, precision-guided lethal missile, which can be deployed in less than two minutes via tube launch from land, sea, or mobile platforms.


The munition delivers 20-plus minutes of tactical reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition using real-time video for use against beyond-line-of-sight targets and its open architecture system allows it to interface with external C2 systems.

The Block 20 version has a range of 30 kilometres with an extended range antenna, endurance of 20 minutes, 1.68-kilogram explosive weight, 101 km/h loitering and 161 km/h sprint speed.

“The prosperity and security of our nation and will always be a top priority for the Albanese government. That’s why giving our soldiers the critical capabilities they need to protect Australians, and their interests, is paramount,” Minister Conroy said.

“With autonomous weapon systems increasingly prevalent, the Defence Strategic Review made clear that new technology and asymmetric advantage are important priorities. That’s why the government is taking action to enhance the ADF’s use of drones.

“The delivery of this proven precision loitering munition demonstrates the speed at which we are introducing capabilities to the ADF. It shows the Australian government is getting on with the job of providing the ADF with state-of-the-art technologies it needs to meet the threats we face.”

The acquisition underscores the federal government’s commitment to equipping ADF personnel with world‑leading lethality and protection to ensure they are capable of successfully conducting tasks and maintaining an advantage against potential adversaries, he said.

Defence expects the first Switchblade 300 will be delivered to Australia later this year and introduced into service in 2025.

The United States Army has previously confirmed they would acquire more than 1,000 Switchblade 600 drones as part of the US Replicator Program.

Earlier this year, on 18 June, the US State Department confirmed the approval of a possible foreign military sale to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office for Switchblade 300 Anti-Personnel and Anti-Armor Loitering Missile System and related equipment for US$60.2 million.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member for free today!