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Air-Launched Weapons

NAVAIR awards APKWS II ‘upgrade’ contract

15 May 2019
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NAVAIR has awarded BAE Systems a contract to ‘upgrade’ the guidance section of the APKWS II 70 mm guided rocket. Source: BAE Systems

The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has awarded BAE Systems Information and Electronics Systems a USD10.9 million contract to upgrade the guidance section of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) 70 mm (2.75 inch) guided rocket.

According to a US Department of Defense contract announcement on 7 May, the contract provides for BAE “to combine the Rotary Wing APKWS II and the Fixed Wing [FW] APKWS II guidance sections into one hardware and software solution”. Work is expected to complete in April 2021.

BAE Systems declined to comment on the detail of the upgrade contract or specifics of the single-hardware and software solution – as possibly an APKWS III – from the combination of the Rotary Wing APKWS II and FW APKWS II guidance sections. NAVAIR did not respond to a request for clarification from Jane’s .

APKWS is a design conversion, which equips the Hydra 70 unguided rocket (or other 70 mm unguided rockets) with a laser guidance kit to turn it into a precision-guided munition (PGM). APKWS II uses BAE Systems’ distributed aperture semi-active laser seeker (DASALS) mid-body modular guidance section, enabling a laser seeker to be located in the leading edge of each of the deployed forward control canards, working in unison as a single seeker. The wing-mounted DASALS seeker configuration provides a 40° instantaneous forward-looking field-of-regard and enables existing warheads from the Hydra 70 system to be used without the need for a laser seeker in the nose of the missile.

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