BAE Systems won a $2.7 billion firm-fixed-price contract
to procure the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS)
II full rate production Lots 8-12. The deal procures WGU-59/B units to upgrade the current 2.75-inch rocket system to a semi-active laser guided precision weapon to support the US Navy, Army, Air Force, and Foreign Military Sales requirements to include the governments of Iraq, Lebanon, Netherlands, Jordan, Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Tunisia, Philippines and Australia. The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System is a combat-proven, laser-guided 70mm rocket system designed and manufactured by BAE Systems in collaboration with the US Government. The lethal weapon system can be launched from rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned platforms to strike ground-, air- and sea-based targets, and also supports close air support operations. APKWS uses semi-active laser guidance technology to strike soft and lightly armored targets in confined areas, it has provided the US Marine Corps with a 93 percent hit rate. BAE Systems will perform work in Hudson, New Hampshire and Austin, Texas. Estimated completion will be in December 2025.
Firms all over the world have grasped this opportunity, which explains why strong competition has emerged from all points of the compass. America’s “Advanced Precision-Kill Weapon System (APKWS)” is one of those efforts, but the road from obvious premise to working weapon has been slow. After numerous delays and false starts since its inception in 1996, an “APKWS-II” program finally entered System Design and Development (SDD) in 2006. In 2010, it entered low-rate production, and it was fielded to the front lines in 2012. That date will still put APKWS on the cutting edge of battlefield technology, as a leading player in a larger trend toward guided air-to-ground rockets.