Thursday, February 22, 2024

AeroVironment secures $18M contract for killer drones for Ukraine

The U.S. Army has contracted California-based unmanned aerial vehicles manufacturer AeroVironment to supply the tube-launched loitering munition to Ukraine.

The award, announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) on 6 May, covers hardware production of suicide drones called Switchblades.

The deal, which was a modification to a previous contract, was worth almost $18 million and covered work at the firm’s facility in Simi Valley, California, with an estimated completion date of May 4, 2023.

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AeroVironment says the Switchblade represents the next generation of extended-range loitering missiles, delivering unprecedented Reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition support and featuring high-precision optics, over 40 minutes of loitering endurance, and an anti-armor warhead for engaging larger, hardened targets at greater distances.

As noted by the company, Switchblade is designed to strike small targets. It can fit in a rucksack, weighs a little over 5 pounds and has a range of 10 miles.

The U.S. already has already donated 400 Switchblade loitering munitions to Ukraine.

Photo by Jennessa Davey

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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