Mrs. Wolves sent me this story on the Switchblade a while ago. I've been saving it for a rainy day when I needed an easy, weapons-porn post. This is that day:
The Marines tested a small unmanned aircraft known as the Switchblade recently at Twentynine Palms, Calif., flying it directly at targets from both the ground and the back of the Osprey, a long-range aircraft that has rotors like a helicopter, but can fly like a plane once they rotate forward. They were “inert,” with no explosives on board, but the mission went off without a hitch, said Col. James Adams, commanding officer of Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1.Pretty sweet, if you asked me. Gotta like the Marines staying on the cutting edge of killing people they don't like.
“They can kamikaze this thing into a target,” Adams said. “It’s not a huge explosive charge, but like a hand grenade explosive charge.”
The Switchblade’s utility as a kamikaze drone has been known for years. It’s made by AeroVironment, of Monrovia, Calif., a firm that has developed a number of small unmanned aircraft. But most media reports about it have focused on how ground troops could launch it at a target. It can be carried in a backpack, and has wings that flip out after it is fired from a tube, company officials say.