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Switchblade UAV -The Future of Close Air Support

Written by on Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

A UAV that is compact enough to carry in a backpack can provide video surveillance for its operator and can be used as a kamikaze aircraft with a contact fuse warhead, sounds impossible doesn’t it? But that is exactly what the Switchblade UAV developed by AeroVironment does.

The Switchblade UAV weighs approximately 5.5 pounds and fits inside of backpack. The lethal UAV is rocketed into the air by a launching tube and can be launched in 90 seconds. The Switchblade UAV is intended to be used when a known hostile’s location is generally known but the exact position cannot be determined via conventional means and close air support is either not available or requires inordinate amount of time to coordinate. The UAV utilizes a spring-wing mechanism that deploys the wings once the vehicle is free from the launch tube. Once the Switchblade UAV is launched it can fly for approximately 10 minutes and travels valium online order between 55 to 85 knots. Once airborne, the video is fed back to the Common Ground Control Station (CGCS) that is used by the Raven, Wasp and Puma UAV systems. The CGCS allows the soldier to carry only one remote controller and video display unit for all of the AeroVironment systems. With video being supplied to the operator the Switchblade UAV is guided to its intended target and impacts the target with the warhead yield of hand grenade with very low collateral damage effects.

 

Today, the Switchblade UAV is in use by the United States Marine Corps and the Army in Afghanistan and has performed very well. One Marine Corps officer at Parris Island, NC, speaking off the record, said “We are really not allowed to speak to reporters directly about weapon systems being used by Marines on the battlefield, but I can tell you this weapon is freaking awesome.”

 

If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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