9/18/2007 - CHINA LAKE, CA — BAE Systems today shot
two guided Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System
(APKWS) rockets from a U.S. Marine Corps Cobra
The tests mark the first flights of the APKWS
precision-guided weapon from an aircraft.
The flights, held in partnership with the U.S. Navy
program office, were designed to confirm the APKWS
rocket’s compatibility with the Cobra's carriage and
launch systems, and to demonstrate that APKWS can be
launched from the platform without requiring aircraft
integration or modifications. The tests also proved
again the weapon’s ability to acquire, track, and hit
a laser-designated target.
Following the launches, both APKWS rockets were
guided by a laser designator to a ground target. The
first rocket was guided to the target by a
ground-based laser designator. The pilot guided the
second rocket to the target using laser designation
equipment onboard the helicopter. Both rockets struck
the target board well within accuracy requirements
established by the Army and Marine Corps.
"Today's flights demonstrate that APKWS performs as
designed, and that it meets requirements specified by
warfighters in combat," said Michelle McBride,
co-leader of the Navy's APKWS project team. "The
Marines have expressed a clear need for a low-cost
precision-guided weapon, and these flights confirm the
system is nearly ready for fielding."
APKWS is a low-cost precision munition system that
adapts a standard 2.75-inch unguided rocket into a
highly precise, laser-guided weapon capable of
engaging unarmored and lightly armored targets.
Sensors guide the warhead to target with pinpoint
accuracy, ensuring that the desired target is
destroyed while greatly lessening the risk of
collateral damage. With APKWS, military aircrews can
engage targets that were often unreachable using
conventional 2.75-inch rockets.
"We are committed to protecting the warfighters who
protect us,” said Frank Wilson, vice president and
general manager of precision targeting at BAE Systems.
"APKWS is a simple, effective weapon. To use it, the
combat teams just screw the mid-body guidance section
between the rocket motor and the warhead and load it
into a 2.75-inch rocket launcher, and it’s ready to
BAE Systems has been the prime contractor for APKWS
since April 2006. APKWS is a joint-interest program
with Army and Navy/Marine Corps participation. With
the August 2007 issuance of a statement of need from
the Marines, the Navy has taken on a greater role in
funding and leading the program.
Source: BAE Systems Press Release