The US Army Close Combat Weapons Systems (CCWS) awarded AeroVironment a contract worth $4.9 million dollars on the 29th of June. The contract is for the supply of Switchblade agile munition and related installation of operational and engineering systems.
AeroVironment has been actively involved in the testing, development, and demonstration of unmanned systems for many years. The working model of the Switchblade system was evaluated by the Military Assessment team of the US Army in 2010 and received the safety confirmation for getting deployed in the combat forces.
The Switchblade air vehicle is extremely compact in its design and is launched from a small tube. It is capable of telecasting a live colour video wirelessly on to an unmanned aircraft ground control unit managed by AeroVironment. After receiving the image of the target through the video system, the operator confirms the target and issues command to the air vehicle to lock the target into its trajectory and to arm itself. Even at high speed the Switchblade operates silently and is able to deliver the payload with accuracy and minimum damage. The Switchblade exercises total control over the payload, such that it is capable of calling off the strike even after it is armed. With the Switchblade, the operators are able to independently control the vehicle to respond to the enemy vehicles with at most precision by firing at any point standing at a safe distance. The Senior Vice President claimed that the Switchblade system was capable of providing a fast action striking for protection of the armed forces.