BAE Systems completed additional ground-to-air test firings to prove the effectiveness of 70mm rockets guided by APKWS guidance kits against Class-2 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that weigh roughly 25-50 pounds and can travel at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.
An APKWS-guided rocket strikes an airborne target. Additional targets can be seen in the distance.
Courtesy BAE Systems
During the demonstration in Southern Arizona, five APKWS-guided counter-UAS rockets were fired from a containerised weapon system and destroyed all targets, including fast-moving drones. The test results further demonstrate APKWS guidance kits’ ability to enable low-cost, precision strikes against airborne threats.
“Militarised drones are becoming more prevalent in conflicts around the world and we’re giving our customers an efficient way to counter them without wasting expensive missiles,” said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. “Our tests demonstrate that APKWS guidance kits have the flexibility to engage a variety of targets to meet the evolving mission needs of the warfighter.”
The 70mm rockets can destroy Class-2 aerial drones by combining standard motors and warheads with APKWS guidance kits and proven proximity/point-detonation fuzes. The resulting precision munition is a low-cost, supersonic, lock-on-after-launch strike weapon with a large 10-pound warhead that can destroy large drones in a matter of seconds with or without direct contact.
Combat-proven APKWS-guided rockets are highly effective against a variety of soft and armoured stationary and moving targets. They can be fired by many different platforms, including jets, helicopters, trucks, boats and weapon stations and stowed APKWS guidance kits protect seeker optics from adjacent rocket fire, unlike nose-mounted seeker optics. APKWS guidance kits are the only US government programme of record for 70mm laser-guided rockets and are available to all US armed forces and US allies.
APKWS guidance kits are produced at BAE Systems manufacturing facilities in Hudson, New Hampshire and Austin, Texas.