(Wired) U.S. troops may be winding down their war in Afghanistan, but they’re now also operating one of the most bleeding-edge lethal drones available.

Afghanistan is the trial by fire of the Switchblade, AeroVironment’s much-hyped miniature mashup of drone and missile. Most killer drones are designed like aircraft and fire missiles at a target. The Switchblade is the missile.

Unveiled to much fanfare in 2011 — it even got its own weird Taiwanese animation — as of last fall, Army soldiers in Afghanistan had yet to use the six-pound Switchblade they paid some $10 million to procure. But the U.S.-NATO military command there says they’re loving what they’re seeing from it.

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