BAE Systems say they have successfully completed test shots of APKWS laser-guided rockets from a tactical configuration ground-based weapon system for the first time.

The firm say that the proof-of-concept testing demonstrated the flexibility of APKWS rockets to deliver standoff precision strike capabilities for ground forces, providing warfighters with a unique solution for engaging targets with greater range than small arms fire and without the need for air support.

“BAE Systems tested the APKWS rockets at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and Arnold Defense, a premier manufacturer of rocket launchers. The team used Arnold’s FLETCHER 2.75-inch/70mm Weapon System concept – a purpose-built laser-guided rocket launcher for ground vehicles – to fire several successful shots. The ground-launch capability builds on hundreds of successful shots in combat from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.

Ground-launched APKWS rockets could provide mounted and dismounted units with a unique way to engage soft and lightly armored targets from a variety of platforms. The low size, weight, and power requirements of ground-launched APKWS rockets make them ideal for tactical lightweight vehicles, remote weapon stations, non-standard tactical vehicles, and stationary platforms, providing warfighters with precision munitions that improve their safety and mission effectiveness.”

“Our customers see the value in low-cost, precision-strike capabilities that reduce the risk of collateral damage, and they want the flexibility to deliver them from the platform of their choice,” said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems.

“Demand is growing for ground-to-ground precision munitions that provide a safe standoff distance for small ground units. We’re working closely with our customer and partners to deliver that capability.”

Ground-launched APKWS rockets could provide mounted and dismounted units with a unique way to engage soft and lightly armored targets from a variety of platforms, say BAE.

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Bloke down the pub

Is it known how the unit cost of APKWS compares to Martlet?

Steve H

Now that….. is an interesting question indeed.


APKWS can be used mostly against ground targets, it has shown it can hit moving vehicles. It hasn’t however been shown to down UAVs, helicopters or planes like Martlet has done in trials.

I would expect it to be much cheaper than Martlet as it’s basically a kit added to the front of a conventional 70mm Hydra rocket.


Apparently $22k a pop for the guidance kits. I seem to recall the all up cost was $25k per rocket.


Cheap as chips then. The MoD really need to think about arming Reaper/Protector with these or the CRV7-PGs. Much cheaper than Hellfire/Brimestone against a dude on his moped.


‘A dude on his moped’? Surely the Metropolitan Police Force is not considering such action!


Perhaps its because there’s less collateral damage versus ramming one of the road with a police car during a chase?


Possible connection is the US has just ordered $3.4bn dollars worth of Hydra rockets which APKWS can be fitted too.


You to think the next phase for this would be to integrate tech technology from BAe Excaliber precision munition to give a GPS option.