12.2.2020

AeroVironment sees first foreign sale of Switchblade

AeroVironment sees first foreign sale of Switchblade loitering munition this year – link

Source: Flight Global

Article Headlines

  • AeroVironment hopes to clinch its first export order for the Switchblade loitering munition in 2020 following a change in attitude from the US authorities
  • Gerard Robottom, senior director for unmanned air systems international business development at AeroVironment, says the first international sale of the weapon – which it is displaying at the Singapore air show – should come in the next six to nine months
  • Robottom declines name prospective NATO customers, but notes that close allies of the USA in the Asia-Pacific could be future clients

Overview & Comments

  • The key takeaway is Aerovironment’s efforts to export its loitering munition capabilities outside the US
  • It has been unable to sell its exploding drone outside the US due to a lack of an export license from the US government. That has allowed competitors, notably Israeli companies like Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, Rafael Advanced Defense­ Systems and UVision, to fill the void especially with larger systems in their portfolio with other mission capabilities
  • Aerovironment has an impressive market share of foreign customers operating the Wasp, Raven & Puma AE systems, thus adding the loitering munition to an already existing Aerovironment infrastructure, in addition to the advantage of FMS / FMF, will be very tempting for many of their already existing clients
  • See “Aerovironment develops a larger loitering munition”  

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