AeroVironment conducted a maritime demonstration of its sensor-to-shooter system from a coastal riverine craft of the U.S. Navy.
The company said Monday its S2S is an integration of its RQ-20B Puma Block 2 – All Environment small unmanned aircraft system with its Switchblade lethal loitering missile for rapid surveillance and response to land and sea threats.
Rick Pedigo, vice president of AeroVironment’s Tactical Missile Systems business, said future S2S enhancements include a multi-pack launcher for six Switchblade munitions and a software for the simultaneous control of multiple air vehicles.
The system employs a ruggedized laptop with S2S software, a Pocket Digital Data Link module and a larger gain antenna to allow transmission of the Puma payload’s center field of view to the Switchblade for target coordination.
S2S operations involve the identification of the target of interest and location by the Puma prior to deployment of the Switchblade.
The Puma will continuously transmit the target location for the launched Switchblade.
Mission operators will confirm the target through the missile’s optical sensors for vehicle operator engagement that includes continuous wave-off for neutral or friendly targets.
The Puma small UAS is built with the new Mantis i45 sensor gimbal and high-resolution day/night camera for long-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.
The maritime demonstration involved threat engagement with an inert payload.
AeroVironment plans for a fall product release for the S2S system, which is currently in the prototype phase.
An upgrade to the S2S capability is available for fielded Switchblade systems.