The Marine Corps is testing a drone that could identify a potential target, track it and explode on impact, James Sanborn writes for the Military Times.
Switchblade drones weigh 5.5 pounds each and could be carried in a Marine pack.
A soldier could set up a small tube and launch the aircraft with a remote controller, Sanborn explains.
Once launched, the drone’s wings open and it begins to fly toward an assigned destination.
The drones lock in on targets once given a kill order, but can be disengaged and re-engaged later in case of civilians or other similar events, Sanborn explains.
Marines already use a similar control system to that of the small unmanned system, Sanborn reported.
California-based firm AeroVironment is developing the drone under a $4.9 million contract and the drone could be deployed to soldiers in Afghanistan later this year.