AeroVironment, Inc., a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), announced the receipt of a one-year, $75,930,901 funded contract award on April 30, 2020 from the United States Army for procurement of the company’s Switchblade® loitering missile system.
The contract award was funded for the first year of procurement through a Joint Urgent Operational Need Statement from the United States Army Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions (TAGM) project office. Start of deliveries is anticipated by September 2020. Two additional one-year options, currently unfunded, would extend the period of performance through April 2023 on a sole-source basis.
“For nearly a decade, AeroVironment’s Switchblade has delivered unmatched force protection and precision strike capabilities at the battlefield edge to the U.S. Army,” said Brett Hush, AeroVironment senior product line general manager of Tactical Missile Systems. “We will continue to enhance the capabilities of this battle-proven product, and stand ready with a proven supply chain and customer support system in order to respond effectively to U.S. and allied customers’ needs.”
AeroVironment’s combat proven Switchblade is back-packable and rapidly deployable from ground platforms including a 6-pack launcher, providing warfighters with rapid-response force protection and precision strike capabilities up to 10 kilometers (6 miles) from its launch location. Its high precision, combined with specialized effects and patented wave-off feature, results in Switchblade’s ability to minimize or even eliminate collateral damage.
Northrop Grumman is a key partner on the Switchblade system, providing single purpose and multimode warheads for the program.
Switchblade® and Blackwing™ form the basis of AeroVironment’s emerging family of Tactical Missile Systems. Switchblade is a back-packable, rapidly deployable, precision strike loitering missile for beyond line-of-sight targets that minimizes collateral damage and can be tube-launched from land, sea or air platforms. Blackwing is a variant of Switchblade, designed to provide rapid-response intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and can be launched from surface vessels, submerged submarines and unmanned underwater vehicles. Switchblade and Blackwing are compatible with AeroVironment’s Multipack Launcher (MPL), an all-weather remotely operated launch battery that can be integrated into land, shipboard or mobile operations.