The US Navy has awarded a low-rate initial production contract to BAE Systems for advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS) kits.

The APKWS is a guidance kit that can change a standard unguided rocket into a laser-guided missile, minimising collateral damage. It is effective against lightly armoured targets.

The system will be initially deployed from AH-1W Cobra helicopters by the US Marine Corps, according to United Press International.

BAE will design the laser guidance and control section of the system and full-rate production is expected to begin in 2012.