The Switchblade Drone, 2




still (2) tank (2) battlefield
secret load (2) see/saw/seen
design weapon switchblade
nest (3) artillery send/sent/sent
flip wing (2) understand/understood/understood
fold (2) right (5) generator (2)
fit (2) tube (2) come/came/come
gas (3) imagine automatically
push control look up (2)
pull target (2) essentially
touch kamikaze dive bomb
scan dive (2) take out (3)
conflict one-way upside down
exactly create (2) ability (2)
armed warhead carry/carries
secure blow up blow/blew/blown
reveal location do-does/did/done
crate nose (2) in touch with
version mission engage (2)
ideal specific respect (2)
convoy creep (2) occupation
enemy literally as far as I know
silent operator hear/heard/heard
dozen hard (2) background (2)
list watch (2) shoot/shot/shot
sting popcorn shoot it down
jam (3) raise (3) encounter
vice (2) front line leave/left/left
havoc capability begin/began/begun
missile sanction make/made/made
chase earn (2) matter (3)
half destroy come/came/come
boom base (3) all of the sudden
mind so-called game changer
lethal on track launch (2)






Jane Pauley, NBC News: The United States is on track to ship hundreds of so-called “kamikaze drones” to Ukraine. David Martin explains how this lethal weapon could be a game changer.

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There’s a new drone on the battlefield. It’s only six months old, and video of it in action is still secret.

John Aldana, Program Manager, Switchblade Drone: “This is state of the art. this is something that is very new.”

John Aldana is the program manager for the Switchblade Kamikaze Drone, and this is the first time the tank-killer version has been seen. So far 700 switchblades both large and small — “This is our Switchblade 300” — are being sent to Ukraine.

John Aldana, Program Manager, Switchblade Drone: “We understand what the people in Ukraine are doing. This is our part to help. These weapons — and they are weapons — but what they’re designed to do is stop tanks, stop artillery nests, stop what’s going on over there.”

Reporter: Why is it called a switchblade?

John Aldana, Program Manager, Switchblade Drone: “Imagine all the wings are folded and it fits inside this tube, right? So at the bottom, we have what’s known as a gas generator. It pushes the switchblade out. Once it comes and it’s clear to the tube, the wings automatically flip out. And it happens very quickly. So looks just like a switchblade.”

In the nose are cameras which scan the battlefield, sending video back to an operator controlling the Switchblade from a tablet.

John Aldana, Program Manager, Switchblade Drone: “Once it finds the target, the operator has the ability to essentially dive bomb into the target and take out the target.”
Reporter: “One-way mission?”
John Aldana, Program Manager, Switchblade Drone: “It’s a one-way mission.” Reporter: “Kamikaze?”
John Aldana, Program Manager, Switchblade Drone: “Exactly.”

Armed drones usually carry weapons under the wings, launch them and return to base. But the switchblade carries its own warhead and blows itself up.

.       .       .       .       .       .       .       .

Wahid Nawabi, CEO, Aerovrionment: “It is a one-and-done drone.”

Wahid Nawabi runs Aerovrionment, which makes the Switchblade at a secure location he’s asked us not to reveal. These crates are ready to be loaded with Switchblades for Ukraine.

Wahid Nawabi, CEO, Aerovrionment: “We’ve been in touch with the Ukrainian military and they could use thousands of them. The type of conflict they’re engaged with today really is almost ideal for the Switchblade capability.”

He’s talking specifically about those long Russian convoys creeping toward the front lines. Switchblade can just literally take him out like popcorn, literally.

Reporter: “Is the enemy going to hear it?”
John Aldana, Program Manager, Switchblade Drone: “No, it’s very, very silent. It’s very, very quiet.”
Reporter: “But if you look up you can see it?”
John Aldana, Program Manager, Switchblade Drone: “Well it’s not easy, right? I mean, it’s, it looks big on the table with the black background, but when it’s in the sky it’s very hard to see.”
Reporter: “But you can shoot it down?”
John Aldana, Program Manager, Switchblade Drone: “As far as I know it’s never happened.”

But the signals which control the Switchblade can be jammed, and so far only 100 have reached the battlefield.

Still, the weapon has earned Wahid Nawabi a place along with vice president Kamala Harris on the list of Americans Russia has sanctioned.

It’s not his first encounter with the Russians.

Wahid Nawabi, CEO, Aerovrionment: “I was born and raised in Afghanistan, and I left Afghanistan right at the beginning of the occupation by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan back in the early 1980s.

So in some respect, this is very emotional and personal for me as well.”
At the age of 14, the oldest of four children, he learned what happens when the Russian army invades your country.

Wahid Nawabi, CEO, Aerovrionment: “I’ve been there; I know exactly what it’s like. Life changes in a matter of seconds, completely changes, upside down.”

And he remembers how one weapon, the American-made stinger missile, helped chase the Russians out of Afghanistan.

Wahid Nawabi, CEO, Aerovrionment: “I vividly remember the stinger missile.”
Reporter: “How so?”
Wahid Nawabi, CEO, Aerovrionment: “I saw what it did to the Russian helicopters. probably seen a half a dozen of them with my own naked eyes get shot from the sky while watching from the ground.”

Now he wants to see Russian tanks destroyed by his Switchblade drones.

Wahid Nawabi, CEO, Aerovrionment: “A capability that you cannot hear you cannot see, you cannot tell where it came from, and boom — all of a sudden hits you just creates havoc in your mind. Oh my god what is this? What’s happening to us?”

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Knife, Knives, Sword. The Switchblade drone was developed by the Japanese during World War Two (1939 to 1945). True or false? Are the Switchblade very well-known and highly publicized?

Pistol, Handgun. Only the US Army uses and operates Switchblade Drones. Is this right or wrong?

Rifle, Gun, Assault Rifle. Do the Switchblades only take out enemy soldiers?

Mortar. Are Switchblade drones fired only from airplanes and helicopters? Are they fired out of cannons?

Cannons, Artillery.
Are Switchblade Drones “smart” or “dumb”?

Missiles, Missile Launchers. Do the Switchblades unleash their payload (bombs) and fly back to their base? Are they noisy and easy to spot (see) in the air?

Warplanes, Fighter Jets.
All the designers, engineers, technicians and developers at Aerovironment are White American, British, Swedish and Swiss. Is this correct or incorrect? What connection does Wahid Nawabi have with the Switchblade Drones?
Bombers. What do you think of drones? Is it highly effective or over-hyped?

Warships, Cruiser, Destroyer, Frigate. Are there drone video games? Or are video games virtual drones?

Submarine, Polaris Submarine.
My friends and I would like to become drone operators. Yes or no?

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. What might happen in the future?

Drones. Should Drones be employed in combat or should they be banned?

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