The Navy is ordering more fire power from BAE Systems. The company is being awarded a contract modification
to a previous firm-fixed-price delivery order valued at $224,3 million. The modification provides for the production and delivery of an additional 10,185 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems II (APKWS II). The APKWS
program has been devised to give the Hydra 70mm rocket family a new lease of life by converting these ubiquitous rockets into cheap laser-guided precision weapons. The procurement of the additional units will upgrade the current 2.75-inch rocket system to a semi-active laser-guided precision weapon in support of the Air Force, Army, and foreign military sales (FMS) customers. This modification combines purchases for the Air Force ($144,1 million), Army ($58,5 million); Navy ($17,1 million); and FMS ($4,4 million). Work will be performed in Hudson, New Hampshire (70 percent); and Austin, Texas (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2019.
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.