BAE Systems has received a full-rate production contract from the US Navy for additional Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rockets.
The $28m contract with options for more APKWS rockets brings the total full-rate production contract value to $69m and runs throughout 2014.
BAE Systems APKWS programme manager Joseph Tiano said the contract option would result in delivery of more systems to the marines currently using the precision-strike capability in the battlefield.
"With this additional navy order, our marines in combat will have a continuous supply of APKWS units at their disposal, enhancing their ability to reliably and cost-effectively engage a variety of targets while minimising collateral damage," Tiano added.
APKWS is a semi-active laser guided 2.75in version of the existing Hydra 70 unguided rocket system and consists of BAE-built mid-body guidance unit (WGU-59/B).
The weapon system has already validated its ability to strike against stationary and moving targets from Bell AH-1W Super Cobra, UH-1Y Helos helicopters and a Beechcraft AT-6 light attack/trainer aircraft.
BAE has developed and delivered the APKWS rocket in partnership with the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Program Office at the US Naval Air Systems Command.
Deployed onboard Bell-built AH-1W Super Cobra and UH-1Y Helos, as well as OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and light fixed-wing attack aircraft, the APKWS has been fired more than 100 times, with a 94% success rate since 2007.
Capable of providing the lowest collateral damage for precision engagement, the system will enable the military to engage enemy targets with improved flexibility.
Image: The full-rate production units of APKWS at BAE Systems. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.