BAE Systems has successfully completed test shots of its APKWS laser-guided rockets from a tactical configuration ground-based weapon system for the first time, the company reported on Monday.
“Our customers see the value in low-cost, precision-strike capabilities that reduce the risk of collateral damage, and they want the flexibility to deliver them from the platform of their choice,” said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems.
BAE Systems’ proof-of-concept testing has demonstrated the flexibility of APKWS rockets to deliver standoff precision strike capabilities for ground forces, providing warfighters with a unique solution for engaging targets with greater range than small arms fire and without the need for air support.
“Demand is growing for ground-to-ground precision munitions that provide a safe standoff distance for small ground units. We’re working closely with our customer and partners to deliver that capability,” added Procopio.
BAE Systems tested the APKWS rockets in the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, with additional support from the U.S. Navy and Arnold Defense. The team used Arnold’s FLETCHER 2.75-inch/70mm Weapon System concept, a purpose-built laser-guided rocket launcher for ground vehicles, to fire several successful shots.
The ground-launch capability has built on hundreds of successful shots in combat from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft. Ground-launched APKWS rockets could provide mounted and dismounted units a particular methodology to engage soft and lightly armored targets from a variety of platforms.
The low size, weight, and power requirements of ground-launched APKWS rockets has made the defense weapon ideal for tactical lightweight vehicles, remote weapon stations, non-standard tactical vehicles and stationary platforms. The rockets will also provide warfighters with precision munitions that improve their safety and mission effectiveness.
“We designed FLETCHER specifically as a ground launcher for precision-guided 70mm rockets,” said Jim Hager, president and CEO at Arnold Defense. “FLETCHER-launched APKWS rockets enable our military customers to engage targets from more than just airborne platforms. We envision FLETCHER being used on everything from trucks and tracked vehicles to marine platforms in the future.”
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A career at BAE Systems will ignite your passion to improve security, defend freedom and make the world a safer place. BAE Systems, Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of BAE Systems plc, an international defense, aerospace and security company which delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services.