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Wed, Apr 24, 2024

Proven Switchblade System Gets USMC Reorder

Loitering Munition Sees Increased Popularity Now that it's 'Battle Proven'

AeroVironment's efforts in Ukraine apparently won them some customers around the beltway, with a nearly $9 million order being placed from the United States Marine Corps.

The small, semi-autonomous loitering munition provides troops with "organic, anti-armor/anti-personnel, precision fire capability at the tactical level," while being packable to boot. AeroVironment's $8.9 contract could eventually be worth $249 million, if everything is exercised. It's a great deal for the Switchblade system, which found itself the center of a brief period of allied popularity when it was included in an aid package to the embattled Ukrainians.

That deployment taught AeroVironment a few tricks, which have now been integrated into the Block 20 iteration of the Switchblade 300. Block 20s sport improved resilience under contested radio environments, adding additional security in knowing they won't choke when they're given the order to strike. Improvements to its armor penetration capability come courtesy of a revised Explosively Formed Penetrator warhead and increased range of target attack angles, too. To top it off, improved batteries have given the Switchblade 300 better flight endurance and command range, too.

“AV offers a battle-proven and production-ready system to support OPF-L to meet the Marine Corps’ requirements,” said AeroVironment's Senior Vice President of LMS, Brett Hush. “Our mature and trusted manufacturing capability combined with world-class training and support will ensure Marine Infantry is adequately prepared for the fight.”

“With over 6,000 Switchblade loitering missiles tested, produced, and fielded, AV is in a unique position to offer revolutionary organic precision fire capabilities to the USMC, leveraging the proven reliability, producibility and supportability of current Switchblade programs,” he added.

FMI: www.avinc.com

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