US Navy’s “Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7 became the first helicopter squadron in the Northeast to fire an HSC Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) from an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter during a live-fire exercise Aug. 17.
The exercise marked the start of the HSC-7 work-up cycle in preparation for deployment in the 5th Fleet area of operation with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10.
The APKWS II is a laser-guided rocket similar to standard, unguided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The new system serves as a low-cost, high accuracy variant to the Hellfire missiles previously used against lightly armored targets.
The Dusty Dogs employed two helicopters for the exercise at a practice range approximately 20 miles off the Virginia coast near Naval Air Station Oceana – one performing combat maneuvers and firing the APKWS II at both stationary and moving targets, and one serving as a support aircraft, with an observing training officer and two rescue swimmers aboard.
Image: US Navy