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Australian Government announces acquisition of precision loitering munition

Australian soldiers will be equipped with the Switchblade 300 precision loitering munition, providing a critical combat edge and adding to drone capabilities available to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). 

The acquisition of the Switchblade 300 boosts the ADF’s arsenal of drones, including those capable of being armed. 

The Switchblade 300 is a lightweight, portable precision loitering munition system with superior payload, range, time to target and operator functionality. 

This acquisition underscores the Albanese Government’s commitment to equipping ADF personnel with world‑leading lethality and protection to ensure they are capable of successfully conducting tasks and maintaining an advantage against potential adversaries.

The Switchblade 300 will add to the ADF’s large array of drones, including models that can be armed. The ADF has several different types of non-armed drones and drones capable of being armed, including models that have been in service for more than a decade.

Defence expects the first Switchblade 300 will be delivered to Australia later this year and introduced into service in 2025. 

Canada is currently looking to replace its stock of loitering munitions. In a recent interview with CDR, Canada’s Army Commander, Lieutenant-General Jocelyn Paul, said “When it comes down to loitering munitions, the focus right now is specifically on Latvia because we need to bring these pieces of ordinance into the theatre. Read that full interview HERE.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy MP:

“The prosperity and security of our nation and will always be a top priority for the Albanese Government. That’s why giving our soldiers the critical capabilities they need to protect Australians, and their interests, is paramount.

“With autonomous weapon systems increasingly prevalent, the Defence Strategic Review made clear that new technology and asymmetric advantage are important priorities. That’s why the Government is taking action to enhance the ADF’s use of drones.

“The delivery of this proven precision loitering munition demonstrates the speed at which we are introducing capabilities to the ADF. It shows the Australian Government is getting on with the job of providing the ADF with state-of-the-art technologies it needs to meet the threats we face.”

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