Anti-armor loitering munition or suicide drone - United States
The Switchblade 600 is a loitering munition also called a suicide drone developed and designed by the American company AeroVironment. It is the big brother of the Switchblade 300 but fitted with an ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) warhead based on the Javelin anti-tank missile, designed to neutralize tanks and heavy armored vehicles. This loitering munition represents the next generation of extended-range loitering missiles, delivering unprecedented RSTA (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. The Switchblade 600 empowers the soldier with quick and easy deployment via tube launcher, and the capability to fly, track and engage non-line-of-sight targets and armored vehicles with precision lethal effects without the need for external ISR or fire assets.
Switchblade 600 variants:
No variants at this time
The Switchblade 600 consists of one drone that can be launched from a tube launcher station that can be carried in a backpack. The fire control system is based on a tablet with Tap-to-Target guidance and a built-in mission planner and trainer. The design of the Switchblade 600 drone is similar to the switchblade 300 with two foldable tandem wings. The three components of the Switchblade 600 including the drone, the tube launcher, and the tablet fire control system have a total weight of 54.4 kg. The airframe length of the drone is 1.3 meters and has a weight of around 22.7 kg.
|The three components of the Switchblade 600 include the drone, the tube launcher, and the tablet fire control system.|
The Switchblade 600 loitering munition is powered by an electric battery and propeller. It is designed to fly out to 40 km in 20 minutes, and then loiter for another 20 minutes. It can reach a maximum flying speed of 185 km/h.
|The Switchblade 600 is equipped with high-resolution EO/IR gimbaled sensors and advanced precision flight control which are used for navigation, surveillance, and targeting. The drone also carries an ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) warhead based on the Javelin anti-tank missile, designed to neutralize armored vehicles.|
|Close view of the Switchblade 600 drone|
|As an all-in-one, man-portable solution, Switchblade 600 includes everything required to successfully plan and executes missions and can be set up and operational in less than 10 minutes. It also can be configured for launch from a vehicle or slow-moving aircraft. It provides unprecedented RSTA (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition) and precision strike capabilities against larger, hardened targets via its anti-armor warhead. This provides the ability to prosecute non-line-of-sight targets with precision lethal effects at a greater stand-off distance, without the need for external ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) or fire assets. This all-in-one, man-portable solution includes everything required to successfully execute missions across land, sea, or air. Easily train, plan missions and execute flight operations through an intuitive, touchscreen tablet Fire Control System (FCS). The touchscreen tablet-based fire control system can manually or autonomously control the munition. It is secured through onboard encrypted data links and Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module GPS with a patented wave-off capability. An optional pocket digital data link (DDL) module allows engagements beyond 90 km.|
|Anti-armor loitering munition||tanks and armored vehicles|
|Country users||Weight System|
|United States and Ukraine||54.5 kg|
|United States||20 minutes|
|Anti-armor warhead based on Javelin anti-tank missile||40 km|
|1||Length: 1.3 m airframe|
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