It can be equipped with a video camera, a laser designator, and several other payloads. It's a small drone, measuring just 12 centimeters (5-in) in length, and it weighs about 190 grams (7 oz). It can be launched either manually or by firing a 40mm grenade launcher, and it has an operational time of up to one hour.
Plus, this little quadcopter gives one single Marine Corp "multiple round simultaneous impact" capabilities. That means that that the drones can be used in swarms, working as a force multiplier. Applications that it can be used for include long-range target engagement drop smoke screens to protect the military and surveillance.
During the drill conducted on July 7th, the U.S. Marines also tested the Switchblade drone, a loitering munition that has been in service since 2015. Designed as a "kamikaze," it is capable of crashing into its target and destroying it with an explosive payload. The Switchblade can be launched from various platforms such as ground, sea, and air, and it is tiny enough to fit in a backpack.
According to the II Marine Expeditionary Force, the new gear, operating concepts, and force structures tested by the 2nd Marine Division's experimental infantry battalion will help refine infantry battalions across the Marine Corps in accordance with Force Design 2030.
Eyes in the Sky— II MEF (@iimefmarines) July 13, 2021
A rifleman with 1st Battalion, 2d Marine Regiment, @2dMarDiv, launches a Drone-40 during a training exercise at Camp Lejeune. The unit’s findings will help refine infantry battalions across the @USMC in accordance with Force Design 2030. #TrainFightWin pic.twitter.com/ZI04Gb7fSu