What is an Altius 600 drone?
The Altius 600 drone is a military drone, it can be carried and shot by a single soldier in the field. An Altius is shot or tube launched to deploy it for flight. AREAI the maker of the drone says it can be launched from common ballistics platforms enabling it to be deployed from “land, sea or air”. This type of drone is often considered a complex munition or “loitering kamikaze” style drone. That is because the Altius 600 is launched with a 3- 6 lb payload that is detonated when the drone attacks its target.
Altius 600 drone capabilities
- Fully loaded the drone weighs up to 27 lb with a 3 – 6 lb all-up-round (typically explosive)
- Flies at top speed of 276 mph (when approaching target)
- It can fly just over 270 miles total – giving it an extremely long-attack range
Here is a close-up look at the Altius 600:
Besides military uses, NOAA has deployed Altius drones into hurricanes to gather data:
What is a loitering munition?
A loitering munition, or “loitering weapon,” is an unmanned UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) designed to track and engage a target autonomously. The concept of these weapons is to provide extended coverage of a particular area while the operator remains at a safe distance away. These types of weapons usually come with guided missiles that can lock on and home in on specific targets. Their sophisticated onboard guidance systems also allow them to alter their course to attack multiple targets within a certain area.
Loitering munitions are especially useful in asymmetric warfare, as they have the ability to search for and identify threats quickly without risk to personnel. These types of unmanned combat systems will be increasingly employed by elite military units around the world in the coming years, as they provide precise controlling capabilities with few casualties on both sides involved.
What are Altius 600 drones for?
Altius 600 drones are a type of loitering munition and kamikaze drone. Specifically, the Altius 600 drone is for military units to attack enemy positions or provide cover against enemy attack by “loitering” over an area.
What can an Altius 600 drone do? How big is the payload?
The Altius 600 drone is similar to the switchblade but can carry a bit larger munition (up to 6 lbs).
Who makes Altius 600 drones?
The Altius 600 drones are made by AREAI, which is owned by Anduril. Anduril provides several military drone systems, including the Altius drones’ operating systems.
How much does an Altius 600 drone cost?
There are only a few disclosed sales where the unit economics of the Altius can be reviewed, but they cost more than $100,000 each based on available documents because that is the USAF target per unit price. Besides that, there are a few sensor upgrades that are on their own are $150,000 – so depending on if the drone is being used for reconnaissance or a kinetic strike – it’s the cost can be pretty high for a munition.
The US Department of Defense has an open contract for an indefinite quantity of Altius-type drones:
“Area-I LLC, Marietta, Georgia, was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (H92238-22-D-0002) with a maximum ceiling value of $30,505,000.”Department of Defense Contracts For July 13, 2022