2.5.2020

AeroVironment wins $76 million contract for Switchblade loitering munitions

AeroVironment wins $76 million contract for Switchblade loitering munitions – link

Source: Flight Global

Article Headlines

  • AeroVironment has won a $76 million contract to supply an undisclosed quantity of Switchblade loitering munitions to the US Army and US Marine Corps
  • The drones are to be delivered to the two services by the end of April 2023, according to a US Department of Defense notice online
  • The US government is AeroVironment’s sole customer for the Switchblade, as the company has struggled to gain approval to sell the weapon overseas
  • However, AeroVironment hopes to secure its first export order for Switchblade in 2020 following recently received permission from the US government to sell the weapon to a small subset of NATO-country militaries

Overview & Comments

  • The inability to export the Switchblade outside the US, due to a lack of an export license from the US government, has allowed competitors, notably Israeli companies like Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, Rafael Advanced Defense­ Systems and UVision, to fill the void mostly with larger systems in their portfolio
  • 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 as stated in the article
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