The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rotary wing and fixed wing guidance units are to be combined by BAE Systems.

A contract awarded to BAE Systems will see the company combine the guidance sections into one. The contract notice is as follows:

“BAE Systems, Information and Electronics Systems Integration Inc., Hudson, New Hampshire, is awarded $10,853,462 for cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order N0001919F0019 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-16-G-0021) for the upgrade of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) guidance section. 

This delivery order provides for non-recurring tasks to combine the Rotary Wing APKWS II and the Fixed Wing APKWS II Guidance Sections into one hardware and software solution. 

Work will be performed in Hudson, New Hampshire (93 percent); and Austin, Texas (7 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2021.  Fiscal 2018 and 2019 procurement of ammunition (Navy and Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $10,853,462 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the fiscal year.

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.”

In March, we reported that the US Navy ordered 20,000 APKWS guidance kits from BAE Systems.

“We continue to deliver APKWS guidance kits ahead of schedule and ramp production rates to meet growing demand,” said Marc Casseres, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems.

“We’re committed to providing warfighters with highly reliable, low-cost laser-guided rockets that allow them to engage targets with precision and improve their overall mission efficiency.”

The APKWS guidance kits are the US government’s only programme of record for 2.75-inch laser-guided rockets, and are available to all four US military branches and to allied nations via Foreign Military Sales.


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john martin

Why do we not have these,must be cheaper that Brimstone.


It would make sense to order these but a reduction in Brimstone order numbers would see costs creep up, jeapardising potential export sales.


Many times cheaper than a Brimstone or Hellfire. I predict the Brit’s will acquire these sometime in the not to distant future for their Helos at least.


Cheaper, yes. As effective as a Brimstone missile, maybe not. The Brimstone is a stand-off weapon, which allows it to be fired from a greater distance from the target and keeping it out of range of possible return fire OR the target realising that it has been targeted.

The APKWS II is a Hydra 70 rocket with a laser guidance making it into a more precise weapon. It is more effective against lightly armoured vehicles whereas the Brimstone is better able to defeat more heavily armoured vehicles.

John Clark

Very true Rukuth,

It’s not as capable as the Brimstone, but the APKWS isn’t supposed to be, it sits above cannon, but below complex and expensive systems such as Brimstone.

It would (and should) be procured for the Apache, Typhoon and maybe integrated onto the F35B.

It makes no sense to use extremely expensive weapon systems against sniper/ bomb planting/ armed technicals etc, when such systems can be effectively utilised instead.


The only thing this puts into question is Martlet/LMM


It’s possible that either the CV7 PG or Hydra70 with the guidance package touch on the Martlet’s capabilities. The Martlet uses a 3″ diameter body whilst both the guided rockets are 2.75″, so technically the Martlet has a bigger warhead. Both of the rockets have a shorter range than the Martlet. With the guidance package the CV7 has been able to hit moving targets as well as drones. The CV7 currently equips our Apaches and latterly the Harrier GR9s. Unfortunately it is not cleared for use on Reaper or Typhoon. The Martlet has been fired from helicopters and helicopter drones,… Read more »