BAE Systems, Inc. has developed an advanced version of its combat-proven AGR-20 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) guidance kit that offers enhanced strike distance and precision strike lethality.
An APKWS laser-guided rocket speeds toward a designated target on the ground.
Courtesy BAE Systems
The upgrade improves the effective range of APKWS guided rockets by up to 30%, allowing warfighters to engage targets from a greater standoff distance with improved survivability.
APKWS is the US government's only programme of record for guiding 2.75-inch laser-guided rockets, providing an efficient, low-cost weapon in the US arsenal of precision munitions. Initial production of APKWS block upgrade guidance kits will start in Q3 2021.
“Our customers’ precision strike needs are changing,” said John Watkins, vice president and general manager of Precision Strike & Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. “We’re focused on evolving APKWS guidance kits to provide them with a more capable low-cost product that’s easy to use and known for its accuracy.”
APKWS block upgrade guidance kits create an optimised flight trajectory that enables the rocket to engage targets at a steeper angle of attack, providing improvements in range and lethality. The optimised attack trajectory improves first-shot success against stationary and moving targets.
The enhanced guidance kits also provide logistics and training benefits to customers. A single variant of the weapon is now qualified for rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft across the US armed forces customers, easing stock management and reducing the cognitive load on pilots. An upgrade to the surface danger zone logic also provides better training range options in certain conditions, allowing crews to improve their proficiency at home stations.
BAE Systems’ APKWS guidance kits are manufactured at the company’s state-of-the-art production facility in Hudson, New Hampshire.