AeroVironment has unveiled sensor-to-shooter technology that enables the instant transfer of target coordinates from small drones to the company’s Switchblade 300 loitering missile system.
Weighing 2.95 kilograms (6.5 pounds), the portable shooter kit includes an antenna, an M1/2/5 pocket digital data link, USB Y-cables, and SSD hard drive software.
The system boasts a link range of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and a setup time of under 10 minutes.
Through the “tap-to-target” user interface, coordinates are immediately transferred from drones such as the Puma 3 AE, Puma LE, Raven B, and Wasp AE to the Switchblade 300 via machine-to-machine communication.
Once the transfer of target coordinates is complete, an automated mission plan and launch sequence is created for operator confirmation. The loitering missile can then autonomously navigate to the desired coordinate position upon launch.
In addition to directly sending target coordinates to the Switchblade 300, the sensor-to-shooter is designed to allow operators to watch and match full-motion videos from the kit and the missile system to ensure target identification.
Once confirmed, users can engage the target and receive an immediate damage assessment to see if they need to launch additional strikes.
AeroVironment vice president Charles Dean explained that the Switchblade 300 sensor-to-shooter kit builds on the company’s commitment to delivering innovative, streamlined, interoperable solutions to improve soldiers’ situational awareness.
He further stated that the new equipment reduces engagement timelines, increasing mission success and operational safety.
“Sensor to Shooter maximizes the operator’s ability to see first, strike first, combining the superior intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities of AeroVironment’s [small drones] with the precision strike capabilities of the Switchblade loitering missile system,” Dean said in a press release.