BAE Systems‘ advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS) has successfully completed its first over-water testing to demonstrate its anti-ship capabilities against multiple maritime targets.
Ten APKWS laser-guided rockets were launched during testing from a US Marine Corps UH-1Y helicopter to hit various stationary and moving small boat targets, which were designated by a US Navy Sikorsky MH-60S helicopter.
The APKWS rocket used its inert Mk152 high explosive warheads and Mk149 flechette warheads to directly hit and destroy the targets at ranges of 2km-4km and validated its maritime capability.
BAE Systems precision guidance solutions director David Harrold said that the trials validated APKWS rocket’s ability to engage targets at sea, including a fast-inshore attack craft.
"The APKWS product gives the US Navy a powerful, mission-ready capability in a very mature and cost-effective weapon that will enable them to defend against today’s non-traditional threats," Harrold said.
APKWS is a guided 2.75in rocket and features semi-active laser guidance technology to destroy soft and lightly armoured targets in built-up and confined areas.
In addition to UH-1Y Helos helicopters, the weapon system validated its ability to strike against stationary and moving targets from Bell AH-1W Super Cobra, Beechcraft AT-6 light attack/trainer aircraft and Bell Helicopter B407-GT aircraft.
The US Navy is planning to equip the laser-guided rocket system onto the Sikorsky MH-60R/S naval helicopters, as well as other naval and marine aircraft.
The APKWS weapon is scheduled to undergo further joint capability technology trials on the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, as well as on Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 aircraft.
Image: BAE Systems’ APKWS rocket destroyed and disabled the target boat. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.