Switchblade drone (AeroVironment)
Marines will soon be even more deadly ‒ and safer ‒ with their new ultra-deadly Switchblades.
If you think of a switchblade, you think of a small knife, that fits in a bag, right?
The marines will soon be in their hands is a completely different breed of Switchblades — these are smart, flying small drones loaded with devastating miniature missiles.
Small, fast and very quiet, they are very difficult for the opponents to detect or track.
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Even if an enemy has to spot the drone, it doesn’t matter. As soon as Switchblade finds its target, the enemy can’t escape. They can run, they can hide, they can even try to dodge or speed in vehicles … Switchblade will silently monitor and to strike.
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Armed with mini missiles, Switchblades, hunting dangerous threats – such as a car full of heavily armed terrorists attacking aid workers and strike with unprecedented accuracy. Their mini-missiles can be small, but do not let that fool you. They are stunningly deadly and destructive.
Switchblade launcher on display at SOFIC (Allison Barrie)
Made by AeroVironment, Switchblades are help to the AMERICAN troops safely for several years. But going forward, opponents will have even more of these deadly drones — it was announced this week at SOFIC that Marines will soon receive them also.
As soon as the Switchblades are in their backpacks, Marines have instant access to a powerful, smart flying weapon to deliver precision strikes, and one that will help to protect them.
In fact, the Marines, about 6 km between them and a dangerous threat, and still be able to precise strike.
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A team can for example make use of the drone’s advanced surveillance-type tech to reveal that there is an ambush waiting for them in the future. Imagine how much safer, the Marines could be if they could be 10 minutes away from the ambush and stop before the enemy sees them, let alone fires a shot at them.
Now Marines will actually be able to do this within a few minutes. Such a significant reduction of the risk will be as simple as pulling the drone out of a backpack and the launch.
AeroVironment display at SOFIC (Allison Barrie)
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The Switchblade edge – protect Marines, precision strikes
Switchblade Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System is feared by the enemies of the US. Here is why:
No one wants a Switchblade heading their way. If you are a bad guy and spot a Switchblade is loaded with mini rockets flying towards you, your last seconds.
A small drone may seem innocent. After all, it has the sleek look of many popular hobby drones. Looks can be misleading. Switchblades los of the powerful warheads that destroy threats with decisive precision.
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For the big influence that it provides, Switchblade is surprisingly light, with a weight of only 5.5 kg.
So how can this little drone punch so far above its weight?
Switchblades can be loaded with small, but extremely powerful heads made by Orbital ATK. The details are not made public, but they are very effective for a range of missions. A terrorist vehicle, for example, can easily be destroyed by a single Switchblade strike.
In the control of these drones attacks with remarkable precision. And that is crucial, they are so “smart” that Switchblade strikes have the reputation of consistently minimal, and often no collateral impact.
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How does it work?
The lightweight, small, highly advanced drone fits easily in a backpack. It only takes one Marine to the drone, the launcher and other important bits and bobs, so that the Navy can the pilot see through the drone’s “eyes” and to learn from the drone target if it’s going to fly the mission autonomously.
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With the special launch tube, a Marine can quickly, and easily, shoot the futuristic drone of the tube to hunt the enemy and destroy the threat to AMERICAN troops.
Switchblade can be remotely controlled or can fly in the “autonomous” mode. With its ultra-quiet electric drive, it still reaches speeds of 85 knots. It can even glide, delivering a more silent strike.
How can a Marine pilot and accurately strike a target from a safe position at about 6 km away that he cannot see with his own eyes? The Marine sees what the drone “sees.”
Switchblade also plays an important role in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance with its state-of-the-art technology. There are a number of tools that can be used to identify and confirm with a purpose. For example, it can find a small thermal and acoustic signatures to hidden threats.
With real-time video feeds and GPS-coordinates, the Marines can observe the enemy force, confirm identities, number plates and threats such as bombs or weapons, and then strike from a safe, remote position behind cover.
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In practice this means that the Marines a position behind a stone wall. With their own eyes, that they cannot see the enemy force which was in the corner of a compound. But they can launch Switchblade that the eyes for them.
If the Switchblade feed reveals there are children with the terrorists, for example, then the Marine can instruct Switchblade “wave-off” and not finish the strike mission.
Of the ground, the drone can be launched in other ways, such as from an armored car. From the sea and the rivers, the Marines, the launch of the craft as one of the Zodiac. And they can even the launch of the drone of a plane.
What is the following?
Switchblades have proven that they are of vital importance for the protection of the force and the delivery of precision strike capabilities — so much so, an “urgent needs statement” was issued, and the military released the money to buy them for the marine Corps.
Since August of 2017, the U.S. army has ordered $111 million of the drones, the operator training and support.
Once loaded in their backpacks, U. S. Marines will be even more lethal, and hopefully safer, in the fight.
Allison Barrie is a defense specialist with experience in more than 70 countries, who recommends the highest level of defence and national security, a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees, and author of the definitive guide, Future Weapons: Access Granted, to purchase, in 30 countries. Barrie hosts the new hit podcast “Tactical Talk”, where she gives listeners a direct access to the most fascinating of the Special Operations warriors each week and to learn more about the FOX Firepower host and columnist, click here or follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie and Instagram @allisonbarriehq.