APKWS Laser-Guided Rockets Tested Against Class 2 UAS

By Phoebe Grinter / 27 Oct 2021

BAE Systems, Inc. has successfully completed testing of its APKWS laser-guided rockets against Class 2 Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) at Yuma Proving Grounds. 

The 2.75” test rockets were integrated with standard M151 warheads and Mk66 motors with APKWS precision guidance kits and a newly developed proximity fuze, enabling them to engage and destroy airborne drones at a fraction of the cost of traditional counter-UAS strike capabilities.

BAE Systems APKWS Laser-Guided Rocket

APKWS guidance kits transform unguided rockets into precision-guided munitions with explosive effects and range capabilities designed for modern dynamic military engagements. APKWS rockets have proven combat capabilities and the flexibility to strike a variety of stationary and moving targets from planes, helicopters, ground vehicles, boats, and remote weapon stations.

“Unmanned aerial vehicles of all sizes are a growing threat increasingly deployed by adversaries around the globe,” said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Systems at BAE Systems. “The flexibility and affordability of APKWS rockets make them a good choice for taking out small, tactical military drones. Our successful test strikes demonstrate the creativity of our engineers and an innovative and economical use of existing DoD materiel to address an emerging threat.”

The proximity fuze, jointly developed by L3Harris Technologies and Technology Service Corporation, combines target proximity detection and point detonation capabilities, and is a drop-in replacement for existing M423 fuzes – allowing APKWS rockets to destroy UAS without the need for a direct hit.

Unlike expensive counter-UAS missiles, APKWS rockets do not need to lock on the target before launch, instead relying on semi-active laser guidance optics that activate on launch, saving warfighters time when it counts.

Posted by Phoebe Grinter Unmanned Systems Technology’s digital editor and copywriter Phoebe takes a fresh and enthusiastic approach to researching, writing and posting the latest unmanned technology updates, and in managing the UST social channels. Connect & Contact