AeroVironment Inc. received a $22.8 million contract from the U.S. Army to supply its armed forces with miniature missile systems.
The Monrovia-based company said Monday it will deliver the Switchblade aerial missile systems within 12 months.
AeroVironment designs, manufactures and tests its unmanned aircraft in Simi Valley.
The Switchblade drone launches from a tube and contains a body carrying explosives. It is controlled by a soldier using a hand-held screen. The aircraft flies below 500 feet in altitude at speeds up to 98 miles per hour.
The U.S. military has been using the weapon system since 2011 and the version being made for the Army has been improved based on feedback from users.
“Switchblade is a mature system that delivers unmatched force protection and precision strike capabilities to American forces,” said Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s unmanned aircraft systems business segment, in a prepared statement.
Shares closed up 13 cents, or less than a percent, to $24.54 on the Nasdaq.
This story has been modified to accurately reflect the contract price