According to information published by the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the United States awarded a contract to the American company AeroVironment for the acquisition of Switchblade 600 anti-armor loitering munitions that can be delivered to Ukraine.
According to a list published by the United States with all the military equipment delivered to Ukraine, the United States has already delivered 700 Switchblade Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems including Switchblade 300 and the Phoenix Ghost drones.
On August 22, 2022, the “DefenseNews” website announced that a research and development contract for 10 of the Switchblade 600 drones were going to be signed in the next 30 days. It was also reported in August that the United States is preparing to set up a contract to transfer Switchblade 600 drones to Ukraine.
The Switchblade 300 is already in service with the Ukrainian armed forces. Its warhead has an explosive charge equivalent to a 40mm grenade to destroy light armored vehicles and personnel while the Switchblade 600 is fitted with an ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) warhead based on the Javelin anti-tank missile, designed to destroy tanks and heavy armored vehicles.
The Switchblade 600 loitering munition weighs 54.5 kg and can be set up in 10 minutes. It is designed to fly out to 40 km in 20 minutes, then loiter for another 20 minutes. It can fly during attacks at a dash speed of 185 km/h
A 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.
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