14 May 2018

US Navy places $175 million order for enhanced APKWS rockets

BAE Systems has been contracted to manufacture more than 7,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) Laser-Guided Rockets on behalf of the US Navy.

The $175 million award falls under the $600 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract first announced in 2016, through which APKWS rockets will be delivered to the US Air Force, US Army, US Marine Corps and US Navy, in addition to an increasing contingent of allied nations.

According to BAE Systems, this most recent award scales the initial production cap and total value in line with global demand. The defence specialist anticipates that a rush of new orders will bring the total number of units manufactured this production lot to 17,500.

“Global demand for our precision strike capabilities is being driven by a need for munitions that can strike soft targets with accuracy surrounded by friendly forces, civilians, and valuable assets,” said Marc Casseres, Director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. “With APKWS, our customers get a high-quality, reliable, easy-to-use product that is designed to hit intended targets with extreme accuracy.”

APKWS is highly innovative technology, able to transform the standard 2.75 inch (70 millimetre) rocket into a precision munition via the installation of a guidance kit between the warhead and engine of an unguided rocket. Crucially, the extreme accuracy of the APKWS rocket has made it ideal for minimizing collateral damage to assets in close proximity to targets, effectively reducing the risk to troops on the battlefield while providing close air support.

BAE Systems will now ramp up production capacity as it builds toward an annual manufacturing level of more than 20,000 units. At the company’s state-of-the-art precision guidance manufacturing facilities in New Hampshire and Texas the work will continue, with the wider supplier network enabling BAE to accelerate full-rate production, exceed manufacturing expectations, and deliver units to the US Navy ahead of schedule.

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