U.S. Flew Kamikaze Drones Against Taliban

AeroVironment Switchblade

Bloomberg report that the AeroVironment Switchblade has been deployed in anger. Perhaps this is part of the requirement for more small UAS mentioned by Col. Robert Sova at the AUSA show earlier this month. Then it was suggested more Ravens and Pumas were needed. Factor in this platform and its probably going to be a bumper year for the Monrovia outfit.

The U.S. military has launched miniature kamikaze drones against Taliban targets and plans to deploy more next year for U.S. special operating forces, according to documents and an Army official.

The tube-launched “Switchblade” drone, made by Monrovia, California-based Aerovironment Inc., was secretly sent to Afghanistan for the first time last year. “Under a dozen” were fired, said Army Deputy Product Director William Nichols.

“It’s been used in Afghanistan by military personnel” and “shown to be effective,” Nichols said. The drone’s GPS guidance is made by Rockwell Collins Inc. and the warhead by Alliant Techsystems Inc.

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Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.