Unlike the Switchblade 300 light kamikaze drones, which have long been used on the front, their older brothers Switchblade 600, which can destroy tanks and other heavy equipment of the russians, still have not arrived in Ukraine, although this weapon has been talked about since March 2022.
The fact is that at the time of the start of the full-scale war, the AeroVironment SwitchBlade 600 was only being tested. That is, this is an experimental model, the production of which has not even begun.
But it seems the ice has been broken, within the next month, the Pentagon plans to finally sign a contract with AeroVironment for the production of the first 10 units of SwitchBlade 600. At the same time, it is not clear whether we are talking about the number of UAVs, or about complexes, each consisting of 2-4 loitering munitions.
We will remind you that in addition to guidance to a set of coordinates, SwitchBlade drones can be controlled by a neural network trained on russian armored personnel carriers, T-72s, self-propelled guns, etc. In flight, it chooses targets herself, and the operator rejects false or incorrectly identified ones.
You can see here how the younger SwitchBlade 300 works. First of all, it’s beautiful…
SwitchBlade is not the only loitering munition used by the Armed Forces. In addition to numerous homemade modifications of civilian drones that drop grenades on enemy positions, there are also Polish kamikaze drones Warmate from WB Electronics and the mysterious American Phoenix Ghost, about which little is still known.
SwitchBlade 600 specifications
Range – 40 km
Speed – cruise 115 km/h, diving 185 km/h
Endurance – 40 minutes
Weight – launcher 22 kg, control system 32 kg, drone 15 kg