Home Americas USSOCOM awards AeroVironment $20M order for Switchblade 600 “suicide drones”

USSOCOM awards AeroVironment $20M order for Switchblade 600 “suicide drones”

Switchblade 600
Photo: AeroVironment

The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has awarded AeroVironment a $20 million contract for the delivery of further Switchblade 600 tactical missile systems.

Switchblade 600 is the larger member of the company’s family of loitering missiles, weighing 22.7 kg and capable of traveling 40 kilometers to its target.

The $20M order from late September is the second one made by USSOCOM after it became the launch customer for the recently-unveiled missile in April this year.

AeroVironment is expected to complete deliveries under the new order by January 2023.

“Switchblade 600 is an all-in-one, man-portable tactical missile that provides warfighters with the capability to fly, track and engage non-line-of-sight targets and light-armored vehicles with precision lethal effects,” said Brett Hush, vice president and product line general manager for TMS.

“The tube-launched, Switchblade 600 can be easily transported for deployment from fixed and mobile platforms in any environment, providing operators with superior force overmatch and minimizing exposure to direct and indirect enemy fires.”

The missile’s anti-armor warhead enables engagement and prosecution of hardened static and moving light armored vehicles from multiple angles without external ISR or fires assets. Switchblade 600’s patented wave-off and recommit capability allows operators to abort the mission at any time and then re-engage either the same or other targets multiple times based on operator command, resulting in minimal to no collateral damage.