AeroVironment secures order for unmanned, portable Switchblade system (video).

Image: AeroVironment Inc.'s high-tech solutions for military surveillance and…


AeroVironment Inc.’s high-tech solutions for military surveillance and warfare are gaining traction with U.S. forces.

On Wednesday, the Monrovia-based company announced that it has received an order from the United States Air Force for its Switchblade loitering munition systems and services.

“Loitering” may be in the description, but this system doesn’t exactly hang around for no reason.

The Switchblade munition system launches from a small tube that can be carried in a backpack. It transmits live color and infrared video wirelessly for display on AV’s ground control unit.

Once a target is confirmed using a live video feed, the operator of the system can instruct the unmanned drone to lock its trajectory onto the target.

The program also allows an operator to call off a strike, even after the Switchblade system is armed.

AeroVironment is working with ATK, its munition subcontractor, to produce and deliver the systems.

The $4.2 million extension to an existing contract includes engineering services, operational Switchblade systems and operator training.

“This order is another step on the path toward the broader adoption of Switchblade to protect our troops,” said Tom Herring, an AV senior vice president and general manager of the company’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.

Source: Kevin Smith for

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