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AV Switchblade 300 Selected by US Marine Corps

Switchblade 300 [© AeroVironment]

The AV (AeroVironment) Switchblade 300 loitering munition has been selected for the US Marine Corps’ Organic Precision Fires-Light Program.

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Press Release, Arlington VA, 18 April 2024: AeroVironment (AV) was selected by the US Marine Corps for the first phase of the Organic Precision Fires-Light (OPF-L) programme of record. AV’s Switchblade 300 Block 20 loitering munition system (LMS) will provide the Marine Corps with organic, anti-armour /anti-personnel, precision fires capability at the tactical level. AV was awarded an initial order of $8.9M on a contract with a maximum potential value of $249M.

AV’s Switchblade 300 Block 20 supports the OPF-L programme’s request for an individually operated, man-portable loitering munition with a lightweight, precision-guided capability against beyond- line-of-sight adversaries. Switchblade 300 will ensure that Marines are properly equipped and sustained with a lethal, reliable, organic capability for rapid target engagement while minimising collateral damage and exposure to threat weapon systems.

“AV offers a battle-proven and production-ready system to support OPF-L to meet the Marine Corps’ requirements,” said AV’s Senior Vice President of LMS, Brett Hush. “Our mature and trusted manufacturing capability combined with world-class training and support will ensure Marine Infantry is adequately prepared for the fight.”

AV’s Switchblade 300 has been deployed in support of urgent operational needs to combat theatres since 2012. Switchblade 300 Block 20 is the next generation of the system that capitalises on over a decade of user assessments, combat deployments, and lessons learned from the conflict in Ukraine, including operating in contested environment operations.

The Switchblade Block 20 system significantly expands on the currently fielded Switchblade 300 capabilities, including armour penetrating capability through an Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) warhead, increased target attack angle, and significantly greater battery life, flight endurance, and radio link range.

“With over 6,000 Switchblade loitering missiles tested, produced, and fielded, AV is in a unique position to offer revolutionary organic precision fire capabilities to the USMC, leveraging the proven reliability, producibility and supportability of current Switchblade programmes,” continued Hush.

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