Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, or UCAV for short, is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with aircraft ordnance (such as missiles) and is able to perform drone strikes.
The UCAV in Battlefield 4 is based on the AeroVironment Switchblade, a remote-controlled loitering munition developed by AeroVironment. Loitering munitions are aerial drones equipped with warheads (or ordinance with UAV-level guidance equipment) designed to recon for enemy targets in the air and then perform "Kamikaze" attacks by directing themselves towards their targets. Loitering munitions fit a niche between cruise missiles and UCAVs, and has similarities to both.
— In-game Description
It functions in a similar manner to the TV Guided Missile, allowing for users to see through its onboard camera and steer the UCAV towards enemies. Unlike the TV Guided Missile there is no delay in the turning movement sent to it. Its launch tube first has to be set down (like the M224 Mortar), whereupon it immediately launches. The user then steers it like an air vehicle. By pressing , the UCAV's airburst explosive can be detonated once unlocked by completing the assignment I'm Dynamite. The airburst warhead for UCAV is significantly more deadly to infantry than standard UCAV warhead, it can easily score multi-kills.
The UCAV has a maximum range of about 400 meters—traveling roughly 40 meters per second for 10 seconds—after which contact is lost with the drone. After losing contact the drone will explode. After the patch it reloads on its own after about 60 seconds without the need for an ammo box. Its explosive power and radius are about the same as a single C4 pack, however it only deals 20 damage to armored vehicles.
- The UCAV originally took 45 seconds to reload after use. This was later changed to 60 seconds following the Spring 2015 patch.