He says that future versions may “select targets autonomously with minimal support by human-in-the-loop” – so the operator may do little more than confirm a target located by the smart weapon, requiring only a brief burst of communication rather than continuous control. UVision already produce a range of loitering munitions; the 30-pound Hero-120 corresponds roughly to the Switchblade 600, and the new Hero-20 rivals the Switchblade 300. The weapon will probably be deployed in a vehicle-mounted multipack, giving it a new capability to find and destroy targets far beyond line of sight. “Switchblade 600 is a result of working closely with our DoD customers. Read the full article via the © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Now the company is upsizing with a bigger, faster, and more powerful version able to take on a wider set of targets at longer range. AeroVironment unveils Switchblade 600 loitering missile system. Interested in subscribing, see What we do. AeroVironment Switchblade 600 is being proposed for various programmes with a number of DoD customers, no more details being provided. Flexibly deployed from fixed ground positions, combat vehicles with integrated precision fire controls, aerial or maritime platforms, AeroVironment’s loitering missile systems provide field commanders with precision lethality across multiple domains. Developed in close co-operation with “a number of US Department of Defense [DoD] customers”, the Switchblade 600 builds on, and combines with, the in-service, combat-proven Switchblade 300 loitering weapon system and the Blackwing loitering reconnaissance system to form the core of an emerging family of scalable multi-mission loitering missile systems. The small warhead delivers a focused blast of shrapnel which can take out a group of individuals or a pickup truck; it can dive vertically to hit targets in trenches or foxholes. Should non-combatants be observed within the proximity of the target, Switchblade’s patented “wave-off” feature and recommit capability allows operators to abort the mission at any time, and then re-engage either the same or other targets multiple times based on operator command. In the process, they may just change the face of warfare and make shooting over line-of-sight distances as rare as bayonet fighting. New science. It can travel 50 miles to the target area and the operator can find targets without help from any other surveillance or reconnaissance assets. Loitering missiles are potentially far cheaper and more capable than legacy systems. Already a Janes subscriber? Equipped with a high-performance EO/IR gimbaled sensor suite, precision flight control and more than 40 minutes of flight time, Switchblade 600 delivers unprecedented tactical reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA). “For Switchblade 600 we are introducing a new tablet-based Fire Control System with tap-to-target guidance, the option to pilot the air vehicle manually or autonomously, and a built-in mission planner and training simulator that are all fully integrated into an intuitive platform,” says Wahid Nawabi, AeroVironment’s President & CEO. With a 115 mph dash speed and on-board anti-armor warhead, Switchblade 600 has the firepower to engage and prosecute hardened static and moving light armored vehicles from multiple angles with precise localized effects, while minimizing collateral damage. Russians were jamming pred out of the skies in syria. AeroVironment's Switchblade drone is the missile. This allows Switchblade 600 to transit up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) to a target area before conducting multiple confirmatory orbits, and engage in target prosecution – without the need for external ISR or fires assets. Switchblade® 300, Switchblade® 600 and Blackwing™ form the basis of AeroVironment’s emerging family of tactical missile systems. Based on the same tube-launched, collapsible wing, electric propulsion architecture as Switchblade 300, the new, larger Switchblade 600 offers expanded capabilities for engaging larger, hardened targets at greater distances. We anticipate continued expansion of our family of loitering missile systems to help our customers proceed with certainty across a broader set of missions.”. More additions are likely. But the generally secret nature of the operations it is used in means there are more pictures circulating even of the shadowy six-bladed Hellfire R9X ‘Ninja missile’ than SwitchBlade. Unlike traditional missiles, they can cruise over the battlefield for an extended period looking for targets; if a target proves to be invalid when seen at close range, they can be waved off and go hunting for another.