AeroVironment Completes Development and Begins Production of Switchblade Tactical Missile System Upgrade

April 28, 2016
  • New digital Switchblade, Block 10C, incorporates AeroVironment Digital Data Link for enhanced communication security and other capabilities
  • Continues evolution of proven Switchblade system to address U.S. Army Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS) capability
  • Available for fielding this Spring

ATLANTA, At Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit, April 28, 2016 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV) today announced it has developed a block upgrade, designated Block 10C, to its already fielded Switchblade™ Tactical Missile system. The Digital Data Link (DDL) incorporated into Block 10C provides a stable and secure encrypted communication link that enables more efficient use of existing frequency bands and significantly reduces the likelihood of signal interception. Frequency efficiency and secure communications are critical to warfighters in today’s complex operational environment.

The Block 10C upgrade also enables the concurrent operation of multiple Switchblade systems in the same vicinity without signal conflict, provides the opportunity to extend operational ranges significantly using another DDL arbiter, such as AeroVironment’s Puma AE™ unmanned aircraft system, and facilitates the automatic communication of mission plans from one AeroVironment unmanned aircraft system to a Switchblade, also known as sensor to shooter operations.

Bill Nichols of the U.S. Army PEO Missiles and Space Close Combat Weapons Systems (CCWS) Program office, which manages Switchblade, said “Switchblade Block 10C will increase the capabilities of the warfighter in the field through encrypted operation and improved Army-wide frequency de-confliction and management.”

“The new Switchblade Block 10C is the result of close collaboration between our U.S. Army customer and the AeroVironment team,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. “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. We are already working on future upgrades to this important capability to give our forces an even greater advantage on the battlefield.”

AeroVironment and its strategic teammate for advanced warheads, Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), will work together to produce and deliver the systems.


About AeroVironment, Inc. (AV)

AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) provides customers with more actionable intelligence so they can proceed with certainty.Based in California, AeroVironment is a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems, tactical missile systems and electric vehicle charging and test systems, and serves militaries, government agencies, businesses and consumers. For more information visit www.avinc.com.


Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our ability to perform under existing contracts and obtain additional contracts; changes in the regulatory environment; the activities of competitors; failure of the markets in which we operate to grow; failure to expand into new markets; failure to develop new products or integrate new technology with current products; and general economic and business conditions in the United States and elsewhere in the world. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


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AeroVironment, Inc.
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Mark Boyer
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