BAE Systems successfully tested its AGR-20 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guidance kits with High-Explosive Anti-Tank Anti-Personnel Anti-Materiel (HEAT/APAM) warheads from General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS). Guided by APKWS guidance kits, the rockets went three for three against armored targets, demonstrating their versatility to engage a broad set of targets and enable new missions for warfighters. APKWS guidance kits transform unguided rockets into smart munitions for precision strikes on soft targets, equipment, and armored targets. During the test event, BAE Systems launched rockets with HEAT/APAM warheads and APKWS guidance kits against well-armored targets – including a steel plate and an armored military vehicle.
“We’re giving our customers more in-mission options for precision strikes against tougher targets,” said Sam Kirsh, APKWS program manager at BAE Systems. “APKWS guidance kits with HEAT/APAM warheads provide a low-cost, lightweight, easy-to-deploy strike capability against armored and unarmored targets.”
All test shots were direct hits, defeating fortified targets at range. The HEAT/APAM warheads are capable of penetrating thick armor, which improves the versatility of rockets guided by APKWS guidance kits. The APKWS guidance kits are also compatible with 2.75” (70 millimeter) Hydra rocket components – including new and existing inventories of motors, warheads, fuses, launchers, and laser target designators. They require minimal training to assemble and fire, and can be fired from a variety of launch platforms, including fighter jets, combat helicopters, ground vehicles, and remote weapon stations. APKWS guidance kits have proven their accuracy in combat with hundreds of successful shots fired with the M151 high-explosive warhead.
The AGR-20 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) is a design conversion of Hydra 70 unguided rockets with a laser guidance kit to turn them into precision-guided munitions (PGMs). APKWS is approximately one-third the cost and one-third the weight of the current inventory of laser-guided weapons, has a lower yield more suitable for avoiding collateral damage, and takes one quarter of the time for ordnance personnel to load and unload. The APKWS II uses the Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker (DASALS) technology. This configuration allows existing warheads from the Hydra 70 system to be used without the need for a laser seeker in the missile nose. They are attached in between the Mk 66 Mod 4 rocket motor and a warhead and fuze.