by Richard Tomkins
Arlington, Va. (UPI) Oct 14, 2014
BAE Systems' Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System, which converts 2.75-inch standard rockets into laser-guided weapons, has been tested by Australia.
The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System, or APKWS, was demonstrated in live-fire testing with the Belgian Forges de Zeebrugge rocket carried by Tiger helicopters of Australia's army and navy.
"Through its long track record of success with the U.S. military, the APKWS technology has always been used with a Hydra rocket," said David Harrold, director of precision guidance solutions at BAE Systems. "This demonstration highlights the unique mid-body design and versatility of the APKWS technology by showcasing the ease of deployment on the FZ rocket and its native launcher."
During the ground-based live fire event, the APKWS-equipped FZ rockets were seven-for-seven in destroying their targets, BAE Systems said. No modification had been required for the APKWS guidance kit for integrate with the FZ rocket.
A second round of tests are scheduled for next month by the Australian Army, which could lead to the APKWS rocket fielding on the Army's Airbus Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter and Navy's MH-60R Seahawk platforms -- both made by Airbus -- as early as next year.
"The APKWS laser-guided rocket is an easy-to-use, cost-effective, and flexible system," said Maj. David Paterson, Rotary Wing Flight Commander of the Australian Army's Aircraft Stores Compatibility Engineering Squadron. "Delivering this capability to our troops while leveraging existing equipment is a significant accomplishment that will greatly expand and enhance our military helicopters' mission success."
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