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"The AeroVironment (AV) Switchblade SUAV (Small Unmanned Aircraft System)/mini-UAS "kamikaze drone", which is essentially a tube-launched small, slow-moving mini-flying bomb/precision-guided missile that will soon be going into U.S. Army service in a tactical reconnaissance lethal combat role rather than just a tactical recon role. Defense Review really likes this concept, as well as its precision aspect when practically applied. Finally, this is a kamikaze concept Americans can really get behind, since it doen't result in the loss of the pilot. After all, we don't have an emperoror for whom we're willing to die." (Source: Defense Review)
Small drones provide U.S. ground forces with battlefield intelligence and have become more common. As of July of this year, according to the Defense Department, almost 7,000 small unmanned aerial vehicles were deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. An unlikely industry leader of this explosion of flying robots is a Los Angeles-area company called AeroVironment Inc. It produces 85 percent of the UAVs used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Defense Department. Bloomberg Businessweek's Brad Stone reports. (Source: Bloomberg)
"When scouting enemy positions, our forces rarely have the luxury of a proper airstrip - or even a fairway - with which to land an unmanned aircraft. That's why California's AeroVironment corporation has designed a drone that lands just about anywhere - water hazards and sand traps be damned. The Puma AE (All Environment) is an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) designed as an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform built for the rigors of both land and sea-based missions. That is, the Puma AE can land its 13-pound frame either in tight city streets or onto a water surface if the mission dictates, even after a near-vertical "deep stall" final approach. An onboard GPS unit guarantees that it will land within 25 meters of a predetermined landing target." (Source: Gizmodo)
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