BAE Systems continues to deliver APKWS guidance kits ahead of schedule and ramp production rates to meet growing demand, say the firm.

The combat-proven Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) kits transform standard 2.75″ (70mm) Hydra rockets into guided munitions that provide pilots with a precision strike capability.

“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 military branches and to allied nations via Foreign Military Sales.

BAE say that the warhead of the Hydra rocket combined with precision guidance lets pilots strike light targets while minimising the risk of harm to friendly forces or civilian buildings nearby – making them ideal for dense urban combat.

BAE Systems continues to accelerate production of APKWS guidance kits at its state-of-the-art production facilities in Hudson, New Hampshire and Austin, Texas as it builds toward an annual production level of more than 20,000 units.

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For the life in me, I cannot understand why the British MOD haven’t purchased this cost effective cheap upgrade for the bog standard Hydra unguided missile. At a stroke it would improve the combat effectiveness of the military.

But no as usual the MOD f it up.


Very simple answer we don’t use Hydra 70s we use CRV-7 so no point.


And CRV-7 have had these upgrade kits since 2006.


Are the versions we use upgraded or are we still using the unguided version? I thought I had read that the rockets weren’t used very often in afgan/Iraq due to their inaccuracy, even though they were much cheaper an option.


No, we still use the unguided one. However due its speed it is actually very accurate for an unguided rocket. It is used on the Apaches and was used on the Harriers, I don’t think its cleared for Typhoon though.
The CVR7 with the precision guidance kit was used by the Canadians in Afghan from their F18s, but also their Griffons (upgraded Huey). It did quite well by all accounts.


DaveyB is bang on and due to a good bit of design they are essentially stable out of the pod so you don’t get the wobble/deviation some other rockets(hydra) have as they leave their tubes.
Not cleared for typhoon but Luftwaffe have tested crv7s on theirs and got good results its listed as a possible weapon with them. source: IN GERMAN
The crv7 flechette was one of the most lethal weapons the AH1s had in Afghanistan 80 tungsten flechettes at mach2 cause devastation at the pointy end.


Does Martlet not provide this capability?

John Clark

Get these cleared onto Typhoon, the development cost would rapidly be paid back via the employment of these instead of Brimstone, were applicable.

Using paveway and Brimstone to kill sniper teams etc, is like using a (very expensive) sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

It’s perfect for current counter insurgency operations….

Good quantity of weapons carried and far cheaper to employ, what’s not to like gents?


If anything I would have thought it would be better to equip the Typhoons with the CRV7. We already use this missile and it is to all accounts a better weapon than the Hydra as it has a longer range. The hydra requires the aircraft to get within strike range of handheld anti-aircraft weapons.


@JC I totally agree, but it is also the same issue with using the Typhoon, possibly its time the RAF had a fleet of Hawk 200s you get three or four for one Typhoon and use those for counter insurgency operations.


If the aircraft was required to operate over a conflict that is less than peer vs peer, than Reaper and Protector would be a better option for CVR7 with precision guidance due to their superior loitering time.