AeroVironment, Inc. today announced it has received orders valued at $36,746,304 under a contract for Switchblade tactical missile systems, ancillary equipment and support. The new orders totaling $36.7 million were issued on August 20, September 4 and September 5, 2013 under a sole source contract established on August 30, 2012. All orders under this contract include operational and training rounds plus training, support and rapid delivery to support ongoing customer operations. AeroVironment and its strategic teammate for advanced warheads, ATK, will work together to produce and deliver the systems. The US Army Close Combat Weapons Systems Program Executive Office Missiles and Space (PEO MS) awarded these contract modifications.
“Even in tight defense budget environments, there is a need for innovative new weapon systems that allow our customers to achieve decisive force while reducing total mission costs,” said Tim Conver, AeroVironment chairman and chief executive officer. “This surge of demand for Switchblade represents a breakthrough in its transition from development, testing and evaluation to adoption.”
Switchblade provides a high-precision, direct fire capability at beyond-line-of-sight ranges in a rapidly deployable, backpackable package weighing six pounds. An August 14, 2013 an article on ArmyTimes described the positive response Switchblade has created in the field: “The main draw, an Army official said, is Switchblade’s precision and its ability to limit non-combatant casualties. Soldiers and leaders have readily embraced it as an invaluable tool, the official said. The ability to wave off a target after launch is unique to this weapon over almost all other weapons. Operators can abort a mission if the situation changes after launch, engage a secondary target or safely destroy it without inflicting casualties or collateral damage to property.”