BAE Systems completes first firing tests of ground-launched APKWS rockets


BAE Systems successfully completed test-fires of its Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System  (APKWS) laser-guided rockets from a tactical configuration ground-based weapon system for the first time.


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Artist’s depiction of BAE Systems' APKWS laser-guided rocket launched from the ground (Illustration source: BAE Systems)


The proof-of-concept testing demonstrated the flexibility of APKWS rockets to deliver standoff precision strike capabilities for ground forces, providing warfighters with a unique solution for engaging targets with greater range than small arms fire and without the need for air support.

BAE Systems tested the APKWS rockets at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and Arnold Defense, a premier manufacturer of rocket launchers. The team used Arnold’s Fletcher 2.75-inch/70mm Weapon System concept – a purpose-built laser-guided rocket launcher for ground vehicles – to fire several successful shots. The ground-launch capability builds on hundreds of successful shots in combat from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.

“Our customers see the value in low-cost, precision-strike capabilities that reduce the risk of collateral damage, and they want the flexibility to deliver them from the platform of their choice,” said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. “Demand is growing for ground-to-ground precision munitions that provide a safe standoff distance for small ground units. We’re working closely with our customers and partners to deliver that capability.”

APKWS laser-guided rockets are the only U.S. government program of record for precision-guided 70mm rockets. All four U.S. armed forces use APKWS rockets, and it is available to U.S. allies via Foreign Military Sales.


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