US Navy orders additional APKWS rockets
BAE Systems will supply the US Navy with additional Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rockets under a new contract announced on 15 January. The $28 million full-rate production contract with options to produce more APKWS rockets for the navy increases the total full-rate production contract value to $69 million and extends production through 2014.
The APKWS rocket is a guided 2.75-inch rocket that uses semi-active laser guidance technology to strike soft and lightly armoured targets in built-up and confined areas. BAE Systems designed the APKWS technology to fill the gap between the Hellfire missile and unguided rockets. The company produces the mid-body guidance kit, which changes a standard unguided rocket into a precision laser-guided missile.
Joseph Tiano, APKWS programme manager at BAE Systems, said: ‘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 minimizing collateral damage. The option was exercised quickly, meaning more systems will go directly to the marines, who are already using the proven precision-strike capability in theatre.’
According to BAE Systems, the recent navy order caps off an important year for the APKWS rocket in which it completed 10 live-fire tests over water against stationary and moving floating targets off Naval Air Station Point Mugu in California; and the system was also fired from a Beechcraft AT-6 light attack/trainer aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base in 2012 as part of an industry-funded demonstration.
The APKWS rocket is qualified on the AH-1W and UH-1Y helicopters, and, according to the company, is expected to be similarly qualified for use on several other rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.
More from Defence Helicopter
Royal Navy helicopter crews transfer control of UAS in European first
Using technology supplied by QinetiQ, two Royal Navy helicopter crews successfully exchanged control of a UAS while in flight.
Leonardo wins Canadian helicopter upgrade programme
The upgrade contract will ensure that the Candian helicopters are compliant with future technological requirements.
Guatemala receives Bell Subaru helicopters
The latest version of the Bell 412 helicopter has improved performance and weight capacity and will support Guatemala in various missions.
Algeria expresses interest in AW249 while AW139 deal remains in limbo
Leonardo and Algeria hope to seal the AW139 deal in 2023 while Italy and the North African country further strengthen defence ties.
Nigeria to receive new attack helicopters
The Nigerian Air Force is to receive more than 50 attack air assets to strengthen its ability to fight insecurity within its borders.
Royal Navy upgrades Merlin helicopters
The Royal Navy's amphibious helicopters have received an improved defensive aid suit and Merlin pilots can now train in a synthetic training environment.