AeroVironment, a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems for both military and commercial applications, today introduced a Multi-Pack Launcher (MPL) for it’s Switchblade® Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System and it’s Blackwing™ tube-launched unmanned aircraft.
The MPL can be employed in Forward Operating Bases and controlled from remote locations, such as bunkers and buildings, to protect system operators from incoming fire.
For land forces, the MPL can also be integrated into tactical ground vehicles to provide force protection and ISR on-the-go.
MPL comes in a standard 6-pack configuration weighing 160 pounds fully loaded.
AeroVironment’s design is scalable from 2 to 20 Switchblade/Blackwing rounds and enables rapid reload of less than 30 seconds per round.
(Learn more about AeroVironment’s new remote-controlled multi-pack launcher for its Switchblade and Blackwing Tactical Missile Systems. Courtesy of AeroVironment and YouTube)
The MPL can be powered via shore and tactical vehicle power, and is also equipped with solar panels and an internal battery pack to ensure uninterrupted operation.
Future naval versions of MPL will enable surface ships to launch multiple Blackwing UAVs rapidly to provide multi-UAV ISR and Cross-Domain Communications, Command and Control.
“Our new Multi-Pack Launcher is compact, modular and rugged to provide fixed and mobile force protection and ISR for our warfighters in frontline operating environments,” said Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.
“We designed MPL from the ground-up to address warfighters’ needs, based on our extensive operating and training experience in the field, for easy installation, integration and operation.”
“The MPL’s ability to launch either our Switchblade rounds or our Blackwing UAVs provides additional flexibility to our customers to address a growing number of mission requirements in the future.”
Switchblade and BlackwingTM form the basis of AeroVironment’s emerging family of Tactical Missile Systems. Switchblade is a rapid launch, high precision, force protection loitering missile that minimizes collateral damage.
(See AeroVironment at AUSA 2016, courtesy of AeroVironment and YouTube)
Designed initially for dismounted infantry operations, Switchblade spawned a number of variants in development for new customers and new applications.
Blackwing is a variant of Switchblade designed to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities for longer missions and can be launched from submerged submarines and unmanned underwater vehicles.
AeroVironment 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.