How Much Does a Switchblade Drone Cost?

The formidable Switchblade drone is a mean war machine. This lightweight loitering munition comes nestled in a tube.

Upon launch, the spring-loaded wings spread out, thus earning it the name “Switchblade.”

Developed by AeroVironment, the Switchblade has been extensively used for tactical reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.

With an endurance of more than 20 minutes and the capability to carry heavy payloads, the Switchblade is certainly a wonder craft.

And that brings us to the question – how much does a Switchblade drone cost?

The Switchblade drone costs anywhere between $6000 and $58063. It all depends on the model and accessories fitted onto the craft. 

Let’s discuss the capabilities and pricing of this drone in greater detail.

What Are Switchblade Drones?

Switchblade drones are specialized crafts developed by AeroVironment for use by the U.S. military. These miniature drones are encased in a tube and can be carried in a backpack.

When deployed, the drone emerges from the casing, and the spring-loaded wings jut out.

This hi-tech UAV has high maneuverability and can detect thermal, acoustics, and visual signatures easily.

Its precision strike ability makes it ideal for use in beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) targets. It can make sharp turns at high speeds and hit both stationary and moving targets with accuracy!

You can read more about its range, speed, payload, and other key features here.  

Switchblade Drone Features And Specifications

AeroVironment is currently manufacturing two models of the Switchblade drones – The Switchblade 300 and the Switchblade 600. Read on to learn more about their features and Switchblade drone costs.

Switchblade 300 Block 20

The Block 20 is the latest and upgraded version of the Switchblade 300. The drone weighs just 4 pounds and can be launched within 2 minutes from any surface.

It is equipped with a high-resolution EO/IR panning camera suite. This enables it to detect and track targets easily, even in extreme weather conditions.

The touchscreen Fire Control System comes with a built-in mission planner and training simulator, which makes it easy to operate. It also offers real-time video and Cursor-on-Target GPS coordinates, making missile deployment very accurate.

For enhanced safety, the drone has an Enhanced frequency hopping Digital Data Link. This helps prevent interception and significantly reduces interference.

Curious about the speed and flight time? The Switchblade 300 has an impressive speed of 100 mph. But it can only stay in the air for up to 20 minutes.

Currently, the average cost of Switchblade drones is $6000. A fully loaded version of the same, equipped with a missile payload, can cost upwards of $55000.

Switchblade 600

The Switchblade 600 embodies the next generation of extended-range loitering munitions. It has a range of 40+kms, which is a massive improvement over the Switchblade 300’s range of 20 kms.  

This drone is an all-in-one system capable of launching, flying, tracking, and destroying targets. The firepower on a loaded Switchblade 600 is enough to destroy a tank!

Equipped with AES 256 digital encryption and SAASM GPS, this agile drone is almost immune to anti-spoofing attacks. Despite a weight of 54.5 kg, the drone has a flying time of up to 40 minutes!

A “recommit” and “wave off” feature has been added to the Switchblade 600, which allows the operator to engage and abort missions at a click.

Unlike the Switchblade 300, which takes 2 minutes to set up, the Switchblade 600 consumes 10 minutes. The price of the craft is still under wraps.

What Industries Commonly Use Switchblade Drones?

Switchblade drones fall under the category of ‘loitering munition’. They are a new-age hybrid between drones and missiles that strengthen the army’s combat preparation.

As a result, the accessories for switchblade drones are mainly missile warheads.

They are primarily used for reconnaissance, surveillance, acquiring targets, and delivering supplies. These drones are not available for sale to hobbyists or recreational flyers.

The applications of switchblade drones remain mainly in the military and industrial sectors.

What Features Influence The Cost Of Switchblade Drones?

The price of the Switchblade depends on the model you are purchasing. Apart from that, the pricing increases if you take accessories like the Multi Pack Launcher (MPL) offered by AeroVironment.

The MPL is compatible with both Switchblade 300 and Switchblade 600. It allows multiple craft launches in rapid succession. 

The standard configuration is 6 packs, with a reload time of just 30 seconds per round.

Conclusion

The miniature Switchblade drones certainly pack a punch! Their hefty price tag of $6000 and above comes as no surprise, considering their cutting-edge features.

At present, only the military, allied troops, homeland security, and enterprises can purchase this state-of-the-art craft.

But we hope the information gave you a glimpse into the arsenal of contemporary warfare!

FAQ

1.    How can I buy the Switchblade 300?

The Switchblade drones can only be purchased by the military or other enterprises. They are currently not sold to individuals or recreational flyers.

2.    What is the flight time of the Switchblade 600?

The Switchblade 600 can fly for 40+ minutes.

3.    Can the Switchblade 300 fit in a backpack?

Yes, the compact drone comes in a tube that can easily fit into a backpack.

4.    How much time does it take to set up the Switchblade 600?

It takes approximately 10 minutes to set up the Switchblade 600.

Author
Diptesh Das

Diptesh Das is your friendly ‘content maniac’ and drone enthusiastic! Being passionate about content writing. He is a firm believer of the power of words and thereby ended up leveraging them to create an impact by sharing his drone knowledge and experiences.

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