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UK to field APKWS II guided rockets, likely on Apache attack helo

The British Army Air Corps looks set to add the APKWS II laser-guided rocket to the armoury for its AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The United Kingdom is set to acquire the BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) II laser-guided rocket, likely to equip the British Army Air Corps' (AAC's) Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter.

The US State Department approved the sale of 768 APKWS II guidance kits on 28 April, as well as related equipment, support, and training for an estimated USD31.2 million.

β€œThe proposed sale will improve the United Kingdom's capability to meet current and future threats by ensuring its aviation forces' interoperability with United States and other allied forces as well as its ability to contribute to missions of mutual interest,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in its approval notification. β€œBy deploying the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System, the United Kingdom would contribute to global readiness and enhance the capability for US forces operating globally alongside them.”

While the approval does not mean that the UK will necessarily acquire the APKWS II system, AAC officials previously told Janes that the air arm of the British Army is considering a guided rocket capability for the AH-64E it is now receiving into service.

With the previous AgustaWestland-Boeing WAH-64 Apache Longbow fielding the CRV 7 70 mm unguided rocket system, the retirement of that airframe coincides with a switch to the new Hydra-70 70 mm rockets that are compatible with the APKWS II kit for conversion to a guided rocket system. The first Hydra-70 rockets were due to have been delivered to the AAC in recent weeks.

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