Posted by GONV (Grizzled Old Nam Vet) Mar 21, 2012 15:10 MST
HOLY SMOKES – – – THIS THING IS REAL !!!!!!!
When I first posted a blog on this thing (3/09/12 see post) after receiving in an email attachment from a friend I thought it might be a spoof. I have just discovered it’s the real deal.
NOW I WANT ONE – – (OR THREE)
Here is an article with more info
US Army Brings a Switchblade to A Gun Fight
Sep 01, 2011 16:41 EDT
In late June 2011, the US Army’s Close Combat Weapons Systems (CCWS), PEO MS gave Aerovironment a $4.9 million contract to provide engineering support and operational Switchblade UAVs for rapid fielding with the US Army. Aerovironment’s new tube-launched, man-portable UAV has surveillance functions, and transmits live color video. It also functions as a kamikaze missile, however, which can be armed and locked on target by operator control. This makes it extremely useful against dug-in or fortified infantry positions, enemy missile teams, mortars, etc. The prototype system received Safety Confirmation and underwent Military Utility Assessment with the U.S. Army in the fall of 2010; this is the corresponding contract for initial fielding.
The US Army’s interest is understandable. One of the key lessons of Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon involved infantry use of guided anti-tank weapons as immediately-available precision artillery fire. Iran’s Hezbollah legionnaires frequently used Russia’s 1960s era 9K11/AT-3 missile designs for this purpose, while Israeli forces used the higher-tech Spike. Similar trends have been observed among American and British forces in Afghanistan, who use expensive Javelin missiles. With Switchblade, the US military has taken a step toward fielding a lower cost platoon level surveillance/strike weapon. The economics involved means that they’re unlikely to be alone.