The US Army has procured an unspecified quantity of BAE Systems’ Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWSTM) laser-guided rockets for use in on going operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This deployment marks the first time U.S. Army personnel will be able to benefit from the laser-guided rocket, which has proven highly successful for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
“With a long track record of success with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, we are confident that the U.S. Army will greatly benefit from this highly accurate, low-collateral-damage system,” said David Harrold, director of precision guidance solutions at BAE Systems.
The Army is acquiring its initial supply of APKWS rockets out of the current Navy inventory while also working with BAE Systems and the Navy to secure additional rockets to meet on going demands. It is expected that the Army will immediately deploy the APKWS rocket, which is a mid-body guidance kit that transforms a standard unguided munition into a precision laser-guided rocket, in Iraq and Afghanistan to flght Islamic State and Taliban-Al Qaeda militants.
The APKWS system’s ‘plug and play’ design makes it highly tailorable and scalable for future needs and allows streamlined deployment on a variety of platforms using existing equipment and infrastructure. In fact, the APKWS laser-guided rocket has already been qualified or demonstrated on more than a dozen rotary and fixed-wing platforms.
Currently in its third year of full rate production and with 5,000 units built to date, the APKWS rocket is the only U.S. Department of Defense fully qualified, guided 2.75-inch rocket that uses semi-active laser guidance technology.
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