AeroVironment has started producing a Switchblade tactical missile system upgrade to address the US Army’s lethal miniature aerial missile system (LMAMS) capability.

Known as Block 10C, the upgrade incorporates AeroVironment Digital Data Link (DDL) for improved communication security.

According to AeroVironment, the DDL provides a stable, encrypted communication link that enables more efficient use of existing frequency bands, thus reducing the chance of signal interception.

The Switchblade Block 10C will enhance soldiers’ capabilities in the field through encrypted operation and improved army-wide frequency de-confliction and management.

AeroVironment unmanned aircraft systems business segment vice-president and general manager Kirk Flittie said: "The new Switchblade Block 10C is the result of close collaboration between our US Army customer and the AeroVironment team.

"We are already working on future upgrades to this important capability to give our forces an even greater advantage on the battlefield."

"Working with the Army and other users, we continue to evolve and expand the capabilities of the Switchblade tactical missile system to provide troops with the most reliable and effective force protection solution possible.

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"We are already working on future upgrades to this important capability to give our forces an even greater advantage on the battlefield."

The Switchblade system is said to provide infantry with increased lethality, reach and force protection through its rapid deployment, direct fire and collateral damage avoidance capabilities.

AeroVironment has produced more than 1,500 Switchblade missile bodies for various customers in both integrated warhead and training configurations.

Image: AeroVironment begins production of Block 10C digital Switchblade Tactical Missile System. Photo: courtesy of AeroVironment.