US troops in Afghanistan to get personal, portable killer drones

Two-foot-long Switchblade designed to be simple to carry, fly use send to self-destructive attack

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The Pentagon is considering buying $100 million worth of small drones and specialized munitions under a program called the Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System (LMAM).

Among the other weapons the Pentagon is asking for under LMAM is a so-called "magic bullet" that can be fired like a rifle grenade, be remote-controlled from its point of origin to follow one specific person or target and fly around the area waiting for an opportunity if it misses the target the first time, according to Wired.

Switchblade/Kamikaze isn't a magic bullet. It's not even really a drone in the same sense as Predator and Global Hawk. It's a purposely slow-moving, operator-controlled guided missile that acts like an R/C drone until it attacks.

Still, for troops on the ground trying to reach a spotter, the vehicle in which the insurgent leader they were sent to capture is escaping, snipers or other long-range threats, it's a lot easier to pull out of a backpack and fire off than a Predator would be. Even without having to wake up an Air Force pilot back home to fly it.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo Credit: 

AeroVironment, Inc. publicity photo

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