The US Navy has just awarded a $19.7 million contract to BAE Systems for the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System due to be fitted to Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II and the U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier fixed-wing aircraft.
The APKWS is designed to hit soft and lightly armoured vehicles using standard launchers. The Marine Corps will initially deploy APKWS from AH-1W Cobra helicopters.
APKWS requires no platform integration or aircraft modifications, and because it is loaded and fired like a standard 2.75-inch rocket, it requires little additional aviator or ordnance crew training. The mid-body design of its guidance section enables use of existing warheads, fuses, and rocket motors, enhancing the capability of the existing 100,000-unit inventory of unguided rockets.
APKWS can be fired from any helicopter that can launch 2.75-inch rockets. While the initial platform is the AH-1W Cobra, APKWS also has been successfully demonstrated from a U.S. Army OH-58 Kiowa Warrior.