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10 March 2009

Switchblade: Not a UAV to Mess With

from Ares by Graham Warwick

AeroVironment says it has conducted an "end-to-end demonstration" of its Switchblade lethal mini-UAV. As demonstrated, the battery-powered Switchblade is a backpackable UAV that is launched from a tube, unfolds its tandem wings, and sends back streaming video from an electro-optical sensor.

But when a target is detected, the operator designates it on the hand-held controller, the 2lb Switchblade folds its wings back under the fuselage and becomes a weapon, autonomously guided by video tracker on to the target, exploding the small warhead.

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