Sunday, July 21, 2024

BAE Systems tests APKWS effectiveness against fast-moving drones

BAE Systems completed additional ground-to-air test firings of its Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS)-guided counter-drone rockets. The test firings proved the effectiveness of 70mm rockets guided by APKWS guidance kits against Class-2 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that weigh roughly 25-50 pounds (11-22.6 kg) and can travel at speeds exceeding 100 mph (160 km/h).

The tests were conducted in Southern Arizona and saw five APKWS-guided counter-UAS rockets fired from a containerized weapon system. They successfully destroyed all targets, including fast-moving drones, which once again emphasizes the ability of APKWS guidance kits’ ability to enable low-cost, precision strikes against airborne threats.

“Militarized drones are becoming more prevalent in conflicts around the world, and we’re giving our customers an efficient way to counter them without wasting expensive missiles,” said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. “Our tests demonstrate that APKWS guidance kits have the flexibility to engage a variety of targets to meet the evolving mission needs of the warfighter.”

The new rocket combines standard motors and warheads with APKWS guidance kits and proven proximity/point-detonation fuzes to destroy Class-2 aerial drones. The resulting precision munition is a low-cost, supersonic, lock-on-after-launch strike weapon with a large 10-pound (4.5 kg) warhead that can destroy large drones in a matter of seconds with or without direct contact.

These new APKWS-guided rockets are highly effective against a variety of soft and armored stationary and moving targets. They can be fired from a range of land and aerial platforms, and stowed APKWS guidance kits protect seeker optics from adjacent rocket fire, unlike nose-mounted seeker optics.

APKWS guidance kits are the only U.S. government program of record for 70mm laser-guided rockets. The kits are available to all U.S. armed forces, as well as U.S. allies via Foreign Military Sales.