Meet the Switchblade Drone sent by US to Ukraine to fight Russian Forces
It is a tube launched, fast deployable, fully scalable and a man portable system. It comes with a feature that allows the operator to adjust and control the blast radius. For example, it can kill a vehicles driver, but not a passenger. The switchblade, unlike most weapons, can abort or wave off a mission. If the situation changes after it has been launched, allowing it to engage a secondary target or destroying itself without causing casualties or property damage. It can be remotely piloted or operated autonomously by a single operator. The missiles advanced, explosive warhead allows it to attack soft targets and the loitering munition. The weapon system has intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, allowing it to engage targets beyond line of sight. It has a camera that can provide real time, color and infrared video imagery, as well as a global positioning system for target acquisition. The small lethal drones are difficult to detect on radar and they can even be programmed to hit targets based on facial recognition without the need for human intervention. The single use weapons are less expensive than most drones in the united states. Combat history conceived by the u.s air force special operations command developed by the us army. The switchblade was meant to help u.s troops respond to enemy ambushes in afghanistan. The u.s army awarded aerovironment a 4.9 million contract on july 29, 2011 for rapid fielding of an unspecified numbers of switchblades to afghan forces. 75 switchblades were delivered to u.
s soldiers in afghanistan. In late 2012., commanders reported that it was very effective, despite the militarys refusal to confirm details about its deployment, effectiveness, distribution or tactical application shortly after a joint urgent needs statement was requested by the army theater commanders for more systems. Switchblade drones comes in two different versions: switchblade 300 and switchblade 600.. The 300 is a 2 feet long and weighs 6 pounds or 2.7 kilograms with the carrying case and launcher making it small and light enough to be carried by one soldier. It can be controlled up to a distance of 10 kilometers. Its small size limits its endurance to 10 minutes, and this makes it unsuited for scouting roles. But it is useful for inexpensively, engaging long range targets and assisting in relieving units pinned down by enemy fire. The switchblade 600, on the other hand, weighs 50 pounds or 23 kilograms, and it takes only 10 minutes to set up. It is more powerful than the 300.. It was designed to fly 40 kilometers in 20 minutes and then loiter for another 20 minutes, giving it a total range of 80 kilometers. It can be fitted with an anti tank warhead and attacks at a speed of 185 kilometers per hour, while having a longer range and costing less than anti tank missiles like the javelin. Both switch blades are enough to fit in a rucksack and fire from a tube set. They were chosen for their ease of use and the fact that the operators only need little training before using them.
Switchblade drones in ukraine. Following the russian invasion of ukraine, it was reported in march 2022 that the u.s was considering providing switchblade drones to the ukrainian armed forces. On march 16, it was announced that ukraine would receive over 100 switchblades as a part of military aid package, though it has proved combat effectiveness. Yet some defense experts argued that this is only a fraction of what is required, claiming that 100 switchblades will be used up in a matter of days further, if 300 switchblades are being sent, its small munitions mean that they will be ineffective for directly attacking most armored Units and thats it from the buzz for today.