US Navy speeds up production of APKWSTM laser-guided rockets

The U.S. Navy has contracted BAE Systems to manufacture Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWSTM) laser-guided rockets.

With an initial award of more than $130 million, the three-year, indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity contract is potentially worth $600 million.

It is supposed to help speed the delivery of these precision guidance rockets to meet the needs of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and U.S. Air Force, as well as a number of allied nations.

BAE Systems has invested in a new facility in New Hampshire that is optimized for precision guidance solutions and designed to meet a significant increase in production. The company expects it will be able to ramp up production to 20,000 APKWS guidance units per year with potential for additional growth.

“The Navy has been a tremendous partner, and this latest contract includes valuable provisions that allow other services and allies to leverage this small guided munition program of record,” said David Harrold, director of precision guidance solutions at BAE Systems.

Built around BAE Systems’ Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker technology, with a mid-body guidance section that fits between the motor and the warhead, the APKWS solution transforms a standard unguided 2.75-inch (70 mm) munition into a precision laser-guided rocket. According to BAE Systems, this design requires no modifications to the rocket, launch platform, or launcher system.

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