Aerovironment displays Switchblade 600 loitering munition

The American defense contractor headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, that designs and manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), is showcasing the Switchblade 600 loitering munition at Eurosatory 2022.
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Switchblade 600 loitering munition, Eurosatory 2022, France. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The AeroVironment Switchblade is a miniature loitering munition, designed by AeroVironment and used by several branches of the United States military. Small enough to fit in a backpack, the Switchblade launches from a tube, flies to the target area and crashes into its target while detonating its explosive warhead.

Introduced in 2011, the original Switchblade was rebranded the Switchblade 300 after the much larger and very different Switchblade 600 anti-armor variant was unveiled in 2020. More than 700 Switchblade 300 drones were sent to Ukraine by the United States as part of an arms package after the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The larger Switchblade 600 loitering munition weighs 50 lb (23 kg), is man-portable and can be set up in 10 minutes. It is designed to fly out to 40 km (25 mi) in 20 minutes, then loiter for another 20 minutes (giving it an 80 km (50 mi) total range). It attacks at a 115 mph (185 km/h) dash speed, carrying an ATGM warhead based on the Javelin ATGM, designed to neutralize armored vehicles

A touchscreen tablet-based fire control system can manually or autonomously control the munition. It is secured through onboard encrypted data links and Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module GPS with a patented wave-off capability. An optional pocket digital data link (DDL) module allows engagements beyond 90 km (56 mi).