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AeroVironment’s Switchblade 600 selected for Pentagon’s Replicator initiative

Arlington, Virginia-based AeroVironment’s Switchblade 600 loitering munition has been selected for Tranche 1 of the first iteration of the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) Replicator initiative. The AeroVironment (AV) Switchblade 600 is a man-portable, extended-range loitering munition system equipped with an anti-armour warhead for engaging large, hardened targets at distance.

The first iteration of the Replicator initiative aims to accelerate the fielding of all-domain, attritable autonomous systems at speed and scale. It aims to field thousands of autonomous systems across multiple domains within the next 18-24 months, as part of the Pentagon’s strategy to counter peer adversaries’ rapid military build-up.

The initiative will prioritize the fielding of attritable capabilities — affordable uncrewed platforms that allow commanders to tolerate a higher degree of risk in employing these ‘force multiplying’ systems.

“Switchblade 600 is a battle-proven system in full-rate production that can support the DoD’s desire to field thousands of autonomous systems across multiple warfighting domains,” said AV’s Senior Vice President of Loitering Munition Systems, Brett Hush.

Switchblade 600 is capable of quick and easy deployment via tube launch and can fly, track and engage non-line of sight targets, the company says. Switchblade 600’s patented wave-off and recommit capability allows operators to abort the mission and re-engage as the mission requires.

“Our uncrewed systems, autonomy technology and computer vision software can help achieve multidomain operations in a heavily contested battlespace, at very low costs and high levels of resiliency,” continued Hush. “We have not only invested in the maturation of such disruptive technologies but also the production capability and capacity to produce large volumes at the level of reliability that the US DoD expects.”

Image: AeroVironment

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