Russians develop the LAOP-500 drone after disassembling American Switchblade drones found in Ukraine

A kamikaze drone was developed by Russian engineers against the backdrop of how unmanned aircraft were able to successfully demonstrate themselves in hostilities, emphasising the success of their deployment against various targets.

This drone’s design is almost identical to that of the American Switchblade 300 drone, but it is nearly twice as powerful, allowing it to destroy enemy manpower and unarmored vehicles in addition to hitting heavily armoured ones.

Representative | Bloomberg

According to statements made by the corporation, the Russian firm Android Technics NPO designed the LAOP-500 drone, which can attack enemy soldiers, unarmored vehicles, and heavily armoured vehicles.

Switchblade vs. LAOP-500 drone

A single-use aircraft (LAOP) may fly for up to 20 minutes while still hitting targets up to 5 kilometres away. Similar to the American Switchblade drones, the drone is launched using a specialised launcher that throws it into the air and accelerates it to a speed that maintains its flight.

The Russian unmanned aerial vehicle, in contrast to the American Switchblade 300 drone, carries a payload of around 500 grammes of TNT, making it possible to hit targets in a fairly wide area.

The LAOP-500 drone’s range is doubled with the Switchblade 300 munition, which also has a slightly shorter 15-minute endurance.

While the weight of the LAOP 500 is unknown, it can apparently carry a payload of about 500 grammes of trinitrotoluene (TNT) explosives. In contrast, the Switchblade 300 weighs 2.5 kilogrammes, including the warhead.

The launch unit for the Switchblade 300 | Wikipedia

The Switchblade 300 is made for precise attacks on hostile soldiers or exposed weapons like mortar launchers or machine gun emplacements. The LAOP 500, on the other hand, is said to be twice as powerful and capable of destroying heavily fortified vehicles.


The larger Switchblade 600 loitering munition is man-portable, weighs 54.5 kg (120 lb), and takes 10 minutes to set up. It is intended to fly out to a distance of 40 km (25 mi) in 20 minutes before loitering for an additional 20 minutes.

The ability to be “waved off,” which enables the avoidance of collateral harm, is a noteworthy characteristic of Switchblade drones. For instance, the drone’s operator can change the blast radius such that just the driver of the car is killed and not any other passengers.

The Switchblade 600 also features the “recommit” option in addition to the “wave-off” function, allowing drone pilots to cancel a mission at any time and re-engage the same or different targets again.


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