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In late June 2011, the US Army’s Close Combat Weapons Systems (CCWS), PEO MS gave Aerovironment a $4.9 million contract to provide engineering support and operational Switchblade UAVs for rapid fielding with the US Army. Aerovironment’s new tube-launched, man-portable UAV has surveillance functions, and transmits live color video. It also functions as a kamikaze missile, however, which can be armed and locked on target by operator control.

This makes it extremely useful against dug-in or fortified infantry positions, enemy missile teams, mortars, etc. The prototype system received Safety Confirmation and underwent Military Utility Assessment with the U.S. Army in the fall of 2010; this is the corresponding contract for initial fielding.

Source: Defense Industry Daily

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