Counter-UAS Rocket System Demonstrated

Rockets guided by BAE's APKWS guidance kits were used to successfully destroy fast-moving Class-2 unmanned aerial systems By Mike Ball / 09 Dec 2022

BAE Systems has confirmed that it has completed additional ground-to-air test firings to prove the effectiveness of 70mm rockets guided by the company’s APKWS (Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System) guidance kits against Class-2 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that weigh roughly 25-50 pounds and can travel at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour.

During the demonstration in Southern Arizona, five APKWS-guided counter-UAS rockets were fired from a containerized weapon system and destroyed all targets, including fast-moving drones. The test results further demonstrate APKWS guidance kits’ ability to enable low-cost, precision strikes against airborne threats.

The 70mm rockets can destroy Class-2 aerial drones by combining standard motors and warheads with APKWS guidance kits and proven proximity/point-detonation fuzes. The resulting precision munition is a low-cost, supersonic, lock-on-after-launch strike weapon with a large 10-pound warhead that can destroy large drones in a matter of seconds with or without direct contact.

Combat-proven APKWS-guided rockets are highly effective against a variety of soft and armored stationary and moving targets. They can be fired by many different platforms, including jets, helicopters, trucks, boats, and weapon stations, 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.

Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems, commented: “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. 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.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact