APKWS to be integrated into MQ-8B Fire Scout
BAE Systems has announced that it has been awarded a contract by the US Navy to integrate the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) onto the MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV. The contract marks the first time the system has been integrated onto a UAV, allowing the Fire Scout to engage targets at land or sea with laser-guided accuracy.
According to BAE Systems, the system is being integrated onto the Fire Scout in response to an urgent operational need and is being prepared for rapid deployment. The company will support this rapid APKWS integration by performing system analyses and modelling based on its high fidelity, integrated flight simulator.
Following demonstrations on both rotary and fixed-wing manned platforms, the APKWS will expand the types of missions that can be conducted by UAVs from surface ships that are too hazardous for manned aircraft.
The APKWS is a US government programme of record for the semi- active laser-guided 2.75-inch rocket. US Marine aviators recently completed the initial operational test and evaluation phase of the APKWS programme, firing successfully against stationary and moving targets from AH-1W and UH-1Y helicopters. The APKWS system has since been deployed in Afghanistan and the company continues to ship units to theatre for use against insurgent forces. BAE Systems has been the APKWS prime contractor since 2006.
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