CONTENT PREVIEW
Weapons

BAE Systems anticipates US Navy's APKWS contract to boost production numbers

21 October 2016

Key Points

  • The company has been producing upwards of 2,500 units annually
  • An initial delivery under a new ID/IQ contract will be for more than 20,000 systems

BAE Systems has been awarded a new contract for its Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets that is likely to boost the company's production numbers beyond current rates.

Under a new USN ID/IQ, BAE Systems will deliver more than 20,000 APKWS. The system transforms a standard unguided 2.75-inch (70 mm) munition into a precision laser-guided rocket. (BAE Systems)Under a new USN ID/IQ, BAE Systems will deliver more than 20,000 APKWS. The system transforms a standard unguided 2.75-inch (70 mm) munition into a precision laser-guided rocket. (BAE Systems)

The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract could eventually be worth upwards of USD618 million, a significant milestone for the programme, David Harrold, director of precision guidance solutions at BAE Systems, told IHS Jane's on 19 October. "It speaks to the tremendous demand that is out there across all four services," he said.

Until now the company had been working on 1- to 2-year full-rate production contracts that were renegotiated every year, for annual quantities in the range of 1,500-2,500 per year, Harrold said.

Under the US Navy contract, awarded on 7 October, BAE Systems' first ID/IQ will be in excess of 20,000 units, Rachel Guill, APKWS programme director for BAE Systems, told IHS Jane's . "We are starting to build these units [the week of 17 October]," she said. "Contractually our first deliveries are not due until the second quarter of next year but we are anticipating early delivery."

Harrold said he expects demand for APKWS will significantly increase over time as more international militaries take notice of APKWS use by the US Air Force (USAF) on its F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.

BAE Systems has received a number of signed letters of request (LoRs), although none have come from international F-16s fleets, Harrold noted.

"The more it becomes clear the USAF is using it prolifically the more international F-16 fleets are going to get interested. That is a huge opportunity for us," he said.

APKWS requires no modifications to the rocket, launch platform, or launcher system, and it allows militaries to use existing infrastructure and munitions investment with minimal effort and training, BAE Systems said in a statement.

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