Drones are big thing for today’s military from the huge Predator flying drones to the dog-like pack drone being developed with the military. The use of drones seems almost unlimited and now the soldier in the field will be able to have their own personal drones to use.
Called Switchblade this unmanned aerial system (UAS) from AeroVironment is light enough that it can carried by a single soldier, deployed in minutes and capable of sending back video to the soldier on the ground. It is also silent due to the fact that it is electric powered which can make it doubly difficult to detect at night.
The real kicker to the Switchblade though is that it can also carry a warhead, making it a portable weapon so a soldier can take out a target of opportunity should the occasion arise. It is “intelligent” enough due to the on-board imaging sensors that it is capable of identifying, tracking and guiding itself right to that target.
It is because of this expendability that the Switchblade is referred to as a kamikaze drone but depending on its actual success in the field we will probably be seeing more of these types of single use drones in the future.