BAE Systems has secured a new $180.5m deal from the US Navy to continue manufacturing advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS) laser-guided rockets, in order to meet rising domestic and international demand for the systems.
APKWS rockets are increasingly being used in theatre, as they provide cost-effective precision strikes with a reduced potential for collateral damage.
The current US Navy order is funded under the recently announced indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract.
BAE Systems Precision Guidance Solutions director Rachel Guill said: “We’re delivering ahead of schedule even with the growing demand.
“Our APKWS rockets are critical to the mission success of our US Government and allied nation customers.
"This high-quality, reliable product is easy to use and provides accurate strike capability at a fraction of the cost of other precision munitions.”
BAE Systems’ APKWS laser-guided rockets enable military forces to leverage existing munitions and weapons systems investments with minimal effort and training.
The APKWS mid-body guidance kit transforms standard unguided Hydra 70 (2.75in) rockets into an accurate precision munitions by screwing into place between the warhead and the motor.
The precision of the APKWS laser-guided rockets help address a wide range of missions, while their modular design facilitates streamlined deployment on fixed and rotary wing platforms.
APSWKS rockets are currently in their third year of full-rate production and use semi-active laser guidance technology to hit both soft and lightly armoured targets in confined areas, thereby delivering enhanced accuracy and mission effectiveness.
The systems are also made available to the US allies through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.
Image: An artist rendering of the APKWS laser-guided rocket fired off an F-16 aircraft. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.