The U.S. Air Force awarded AeroVironment a $22.8 million contract for miniature missile systems Oct. 3.
First deployed by the USAF in 2011, the AeroVironment Switchblade is a small missile system that can be fit in backpacks and can provide precision strikes using a missile carried in its body. The Switchblade is fired from a tube and a soldier using a hand-held screen controls it.
The drone has a maximum altitude of 500 feet and a maximum speed of 98 miles per hour.
In April, AeroVironment completed an upgrade of the system. The new system will be delivered to the USAF in the next 12 months.
Based in Monrovia, AeroVironment manufactures and designs unmanned aircraft at a large factory in Simi Valley.
• Contact Philip Joens at [email protected]