12/20/2007 - FORT WALTON BEACH, FL — Two BAE
Systems-built Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System
(APKWS) guided rockets were successfully test-fired
from a U.S. Army Kiowa Warrior helicopter on Dec. 13.
These tests confirm that the APKWS rocket is
compatible with the Kiowa Warrior’s carriage and
launch systems and demonstrate that the weapon can be
fired from the helicopter without requiring platform
integration or modifications.
The tests also proved again the weapon’s ability to
acquire, track, and hit a laser-designated target,
with both rockets striking the target well within
accuracy requirements established by the Army and
Following launch, the first APKWS rocket was guided
by a ground-based laser designator to a ground target.
The second launch was guided by a laser designator in
a second helicopter flying near the launch platform.
This “buddy lase” scenario is typical of Army
"The successful firing of APKWS shows that the system
can be employed without any modifications to the
aircraft or launchers and with minimal crew training,”
said Lt. Col. Paul Bontrager, commander of the 7th
Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, of the Army’s 101st
Airborne Division. “Integration of APKWS will give our
aircrews the ability to precisely employ 2.75-inch
rockets from an extended range against the enemy with
reduced error or collateral damage, providing aircrews
with increased precision, lethality, range, and
protection in the global war on terrorism."
APKWS is a low-cost precision munition system that
modifies 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 its target with pinpoint
accuracy, ensuring that the intended target is
destroyed while greatly lessening the risk of
collateral damage. With APKWS, military aircrews can
engage targets that often were unreachable with
conventional 2.75-inch rockets.
These tests mark the second time in three months that
APKWS rockets have been fired from an aircraft.
Similar tests, conducted in September, involved a U.S.
Marine Corps Cobra helicopter.
"In the past three months, BAE Systems has
demonstrated, in cooperation with our customers, that
APKWS can be launched from the Army Kiowa and Marine
Corps Cobra,” said Frank Wilson, vice president and
general manager of precision targeting for BAE Systems
in Nashua, New Hampshire. “These platforms are true
workhorses in the current attack helicopter fleet, and
their pilots need a weapon that will eliminate the
target without harming surrounding non-combatants or
taking out whole buildings. APKWS is that weapon, and
these tests demonstrate its maturity, accuracy, and
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.
Source: BAE Systems Press Release