The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has awarded a firm-fixed-price contract to uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) manufacturer AeroVironment.

The $20.3m contract is for the supply of Switchblade 600 tactical missile systems (TMS) hardware for USSOCOM.

Aerovironment TMS vice-president and product line general manager Brett Hush said: “Switchblade 600 is an all-in-one, man-portable tactical missile that provides warfighters with the capability to fly, track and engage non-line-of-sight targets and light-armoured vehicles with precision lethal effects.

“The tube-launched, Switchblade 600 can be easily transported for deployment from fixed and mobile platforms in any environment, providing operators with superior force overmatch and minimising exposure to direct and indirect enemy fires.”

Switchblade 600 is built on the battle-proven Switchblade 300 and is an extended range loitering missile system that can engage non-line-of-sight (NLOS) targets.

It features high-precision optics and has more than 40 minutes of loitering endurance. The all-in-one 22.7kg solution can be set up in ten minutes.

The TMS also includes an anti-armour warhead for engaging static and moving light armoured vehicles (LAVs).

Completion of the delivery is expected by January 2023.

In October last year, AeroVironment announced the expansion of its loitering missile system portfolio with the addition of the Switchblade 600 TMS.

The company received a $26m contract from the USSOCOM for the delivery and integration of Switchblade 600 TMS.