US Counter-Drone Office Tests APKWS Laser-Guidance Kits

This successful testing of BAE Systems’ APKWS against Class-2 UAS paves the way for fielding of the precision-guided rockets to partner nations around the globe By Caroline Rees / 31 Mar 2023
APKWS laser-guidance kits tested by US counter-drone office
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BAE Systems’ APKWS laser-guidance kits have been successfully tested in a Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) mission by the Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO). 

According to BAE Systems, this testing against Class-2 UAS paves the way for fielding of the precision-guided rockets to partner nations around the globe.

APKWS transforms unguided rockets into smart munitions for precision strikes on soft and lightly armored targets. A proximity fuze for the standard M151 warhead allows the laser-guidance kits to target Class 2 and Class 3 drones, which typically weigh less than 55 pounds. The fuze retains the legacy point denotation capability for maximum flexibility of the weapon in the field. APKWS now enables rockets to engage and destroy drones at a fraction of the cost of existing C-UAS systems with unprecedented precision.

During the Department of Defense-led exercise at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, the 70 mm APKWS-guided rockets demonstrated 100 percent effectiveness when fired against 25 to 50 pound drones traveling at more than 100 miles an hour. The APKWS C-UAS solution is platform agnostic, permitting multiple options to accelerate fielding.

“Our engineers’ passion for APKWS technology led to the development of this new product designed to meet drones head-on,” said Aimee D’Onofrio, a director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. “This is a solution that comes at a remarkably affordable price point, and with APKWS already at full-rate production, we can ramp up to 25,000 units per year to make an immediate impact.”

APKWS laser-guidance kits are produced at BAE Systems’ state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Hudson, New Hampshire. The kits are available to all US armed forces, as well as allies via Foreign Military Sales.

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Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact
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