Switchblade suicide bombing UAVs for the British Army

The UK has loitering-type ammunition manufactured by the US company AeroVironment Inc. according to a recent tender available on US online contract platforms. AeroVironment Inc. has received a $ 44.9 million order to supply the Switchblade UAV (Switchblade Weapon System as per document). The delivery, due to be completed in April 2023, is for the UK via Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and the US Army, although it is not possible to know the specific amount for each of the two recipients.

In particular, it would be the Swithblade 300, as the company recently confirmed when the US government approved the first export of this type of system. It is the latest variant of this system family, which combines unmanned aircraft and missile properties and was originally developed for US special forces. In particular, the Switchblade 300 weighs 2.5 kg and has a range of 10 km. and an autonomy of 15 minutes and is designed to shoot down personal targets that can be carried by one person. Hence, it is a different system adapted to the needs of special forces, as could be the case with the sale to the Kingdom of United.

It is a battle-proven system designed to operate beyond the line of sight (beyond line of sight, or BLOS). It can be remotely controlled and transmits real-time video to the operator to identify and assign targets. Thanks to its electric drive system, it has a very low acoustic signature, which, together with its small size, makes it difficult to detect. (Jos M Navarro Garca)

Photo: This infographic shows the small size of the system (AeroVironment).

The Switchblade 300 is the smallest member of the family (AeroVironment)

Illustrative video of the Switchblade 600 (AeroVironment)

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