Description: The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) is a derivative of combat-proven MK 90 Hydra 70mm unguided rocket employed by US fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The APKWS rocket features a semi-active laser guidance system which provides enhanced accuracy over existing unguided rockets. The APKWS will be able to achieve a direct hit on both moving and stationary targets.
This innovative weapon consists of General Dynamics' Hydra-70 70mm unguided rocket offering several warhead configuration and BAE System's Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker (DASALS).
The APKWS development test series began in 2002. Test launch series are conducted from a ground-based M260 rocket launcher aiming at surrogate targets varying from 1,500 to 5,500 meters range. The test data is used to update the rocket built-in guidance autopilot. Flight tests are being carried out in Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, by a General Dynamics, BAE Systems and US government team.
The US Army original APKWS program was replaced by the APKWS II program which inherited the efforts and technology developed under its parent program. APKWS II intends to attain further cost savings for the US Army through contract competition approach. Two industry teams are bidding for this program with the winner to be selected by the US Army before the end of 2005. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are leading the two industry teams. Both APKWS II proposals are build upon Hydra-70 rocket body manufactured by General Dynamics.
On April 27, 2006, the US Army announced the selection of BAE Systems as prime contractor for the APKWS II program. The APKWS II precision-guided rocket critical design review was planned for July 2006 and series production were anticipated by 2008. BAE Systems won this contract in partnership with Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics. Its APKWS II solution employs Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker (DASALS) technology also utilized on the PGMM.
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