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AeroVironment from US to procure Switchblade 300 loitering missiles to France and allied nations.

| 2023

April 26, 2023 – ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Company AeroVironment, Inc. has secured an additional $64.6 million in funding from the U.S. Army Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions (TAGM) project office, bringing the total contract value for the procurement of Switchblade® 300 loitering missile systems to $231.3 million. This latest contract marks the first instance of foreign military sales of Switchblade 300 systems to France and another allied nation, further expanding the system's international presence.
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AeroVironment, Stwichblade 300 loitering munition. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal will oversee the contract, with the delivery of the systems slated for completion by July 2024.

The Switchblade 300, a combat-proven loitering missile system, has been deployed by the U.S. Army for over a decade, currently providing real-time intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and precision strike support in Ukraine. The U.S. government approved the use of Switchblade systems by Ukraine and other nations following the onset of the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022.

Brett Hush, AeroVironment's vice president and product line general manager for Tactical Missile Systems, emphasized the significance of the Switchblade 300 in Ukraine's armed forces, stating, "This new contract further demonstrates the global demand for production-ready, combat-proven Switchblade 300 missile systems. We're honored that Switchblade 300 continues to support the U.S. military and our allies."

The Switchblade 300 is a small, lightweight, and lethal loitering missile system developed by AeroVironment, Inc. Designed for use by the U.S. Army and its allies, the system has been deployed for over a decade, providing real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, as well as precision strike support on the battlefield.

The Switchblade 300 is ideal for use against beyond-line-of-sight targets and is particularly well-suited for operations in complex and contested environments. It can be easily transported and rapidly deployed, offering a high level of flexibility to military forces. Equipped with a high-resolution camera, the system allows operators to identify and engage targets with extreme precision while minimizing collateral damage.

The next-generation Switchblade 300 Block 20 builds upon the battle-tested performance of its predecessor, the Switchblade 300. This advanced version introduces several improvements, including a high-resolution EO/IR panning camera suite for better target identification, extended endurance, and a user-friendly touchscreen Fire Control System (FCS) that simplifies mission training, planning, and execution.

The Switchblade 300 Block 2 boasts a range of 10 km, a 20-minute endurance, a flight cruise speed of 100 km/h, and can carry a payload of 1.8 kg. These enhancements make the Switchblade 300 Block 20 an even more effective and adaptable loitering missile system for military operations.

Defense News April 2023

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