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AeroVironment has launched a new capability, the Switchblade 300 sensor to shooter (S2S) kit, to reduce engagement timelines and cognitive load on the operator.

The kit allows users to transfer target coordinates rapidly from the company’s small uncrewed aircraft systems (SUAS) to Switchblade 300 loitering missile systems.

The company’s SUAS systems include the Puma 3 AE, Puma LE, Raven B, and Wasp AE.

The portable and backpackable shooter kit has an operational weight of 2.95kg, offers a link range of 10km, and a setup time of under ten minutes.

It includes components such as antenna, an M1/2/5 pocket digital data link (pDDL), USB Y-cables, Assy, SSD hard drive software installation, and more.

AeroVironment UAS global business development and sales vice-president Charles Dean said: “Sensor to shooter maximises the operator’s ability to see first and strike first, combining the superior intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities of AeroVironment’s SUAS, with the precision strike capabilities of the Switchblade loitering missile system.”

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Operators can use the S2S software on a ruggedised laptop to quickly update the multi-platform mapping and mission planning application, FalconView, and connect to the pDDL.

Using the ‘tap-to-target’ user interface, coordinates are immediately transferred via machine-to-machine communication, from the SUAS, to the Switchblade 300.

Once the target coordinates transfer is completed, an automated mission plan and launch sequence is created and confirmed.

Following this, the Switchblade 300 can ‘autonomously navigate’ to the desired coordinate position upon its launch.

It enables operators to ‘scene match’ full-motion video downlink from both assets.

Dean added: “The Switchblade 300 sensor to shooter kit builds on AeroVironment’s commitment to deliver innovative, streamlined, interoperable solutions that elevate the warfighter’s situational awareness, reduce engagement timelines and cognitive load, and increase mission success and operational safety.”

In December 2021, AeroVironment announced that it had won a contract to deliver its Puma 3 all environment (AE) and Wasp AE small uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) to an undisclosed US allied nation.