Anduril Introduces Loitering Munition Warheads For Altius Drones
Anduril Industries has introduced loitering munition variants of its Altius 600 and 700 drones.
The Altius 600M and 700M are modular and can swap out a variety of different warheads, including a munition weighing as much as 35 lb. for the 700M, Anduril said Oct. 6.
“The Altius 600M and 700M are designed for expeditionary deployment by air, mobile, ground, or maritime forces, giving them multidomain launch capability,” the company says. “Like all Anduril systems, the Altius platform is autonomous and one operator is able to control multiple assets. Altius has demonstrated autonomous coordinated strike, target recognition and collaborative teaming.”
The original Altius 600 has been used extensively for testing of the U.S. Army’s “air launched effects” idea—a concept for launching a scouting drone from a moving helicopter. It can also be launched from a fixed-wing aircraft and ground vehicles. The Altius 600M and 700M loitering munition variants retain the same launch capabilities, Anduril says.
Area-I, the company that developed the Altius and which was bought by Anduril in 2021, has said that its drone’s modular nose cones can carry a variety of payloads, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors, radio frequency decoys, signal intelligence sensors, communications relays, and electronic warfare equipment, as well as loitering munition warheads. The announcement of the 600M and 700M is the first time the company has officially unveiled warheads for the products, however.
Anduril did not disclose the range of the Altius 600M or the 700M. But the reconnaissance version of the 600 has a 4-hr. endurance or 276-mi. range. The company has said previously that the 700’s range is about 25% more than the 600.
The introduction of the 600M and 700M loitering munitions comes as competitor AeroVironment is supplying Ukraine with its Switchblade loitering munitions via U.S. government security assistance packages.