$26.7 million contract aimed to give weapon deadly guidance

General Dynamics has awarded BAE Systems a $26.7 million contract for the development and demonstration of the guidance section of the US Army’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System.

General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (ATP) has awarded BAE Systems a $26.7 million contract for the development and demonstration of the guidance section of the US Army’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) Block I program.

The contract was finalised March 13 with BAE Systems Information & Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS), headquartered in Nashua, New Hampshire.

According to a statement, APKWS is a low-cost precision munition that is highly accurate and effective against soft to lightly armored targets. The BAE Systems guidance section provides accuracy for the Army’s unguided Hydra-70 rockets – making them ‘smart’ enough to home in on and destroy enemy targets while minimizing collateral damage.

BAE Systems mid-body design features semi-active laser (SAL) guidance that can be integrated into the 70mm rocket and allows flexibility for other upgrades.

In September 2002, BAE Systems successfully demonstrated the advanced seeker technology when its engineers launched a 70 mm laser-guided rocket using a mid-body, fin-mounted guidance system, scoring a direct hit on a small target more than three miles away from its launch point.

The APKWS Block I phase is expected to be completed in 2005, followed by production. APKWS is planned for use on rotary and fixed wing aircraft, unmanned air vehicles, and ground vehicles.