APKWS® laser-guidance kit

APKWS Upgraded Capabilities
APKWS Upgraded Capabilities 2022
Combat-proven for over 5 years, BAE Systems' APKWS® laser-guidance kit redefines precision by hitting targets with pinpoint accuracy and minimal collateral damage – critical for air-to-ground missions when you only have one shot.

The U.S. Government's only program of record for 2.75-inch laser-guided rockets, our APKWS guidance kit transforms an unguided 2.75-inch (70 millimeter) rocket into a precision-guided rocket that gives rotary- and fixed-wing military aircraft a low-cost surgical strike capability.

Effectively filling the weapons gap

The APKWS bridges the gap between unguided rockets and anti-armor munitions, consistently delivering pinpoint accuracy to soft targets at a low cost, that no other system can match.

Unmatched precision strike capability

APKWS rockets use advanced DASALS® seeker optics on all four guidance wings to maximize target acquisition better than any competitors' laser guidance system designs. The DASALS® seeker optics are essential to maximizing target acquisition

There are other precision-guided weapons on the market, but few consistently hit their intended target with pinpoint accuracy, while leaving minimal collateral damage. Our guidance section is designed to lock onto targets from over 3 kilometers away, keeping your aircraft and laser designators at a safe distance from threats.

Innovative by design, the APKWS includes advanced DASALS seeker optics located on all four guidance wings. Once fired, the wings deploy, and the optics lock in, guiding the rocket to the target – delivering accuracy when it matters most.

  • Wing slot seals protect optics from adjacent firings, sand, and moisture prior to launch to ensure no damage or debris inhibit the seeker from locking onto targets
  • Optics lock onto moving or stationary targets in open or confined areas, supporting a wide variety of missions, and eliminating the possibility of a lost or uncontrolled rocket after launch
  • 40-degree instantaneous field of regard enables a broad capture area for the rocket to adjust mid-flight and stay on track to its target

Proven in combat, preferred worldwide

To date, 17 of the world's most utilized rotary- and fixed-wing launch platforms are qualified with BAE Systems' APKWS laser-guidance kit , including:

There are 17 launch platforms qualified with our APKWS guidance section

There are 17 launch platforms qualified with our APKWS guidance section

In combat, our APKWS system has achieved over a 93 percent hit rate when fired from rotary- and fixed-wing platforms. In fact, it is the most accurate precision guided weapon in its class, exceeding program requirements. That is just part of why the APKWS is utilized by all four branches of the U.S. armed forces, as well as numerous allied countries.

  • U.S. Army has achieved numerous confirmed successful engagements in support of current combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • U.S. Air Force has fired hundreds of fixed-wing units in theater to date
  • U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy have fired thousands of combined fixed- and rotary-wing shots in total, including hundreds in combat scenarios

A flexible, more modular design

Our mid-body guidance and control section is compatible with existing and new inventories of 2.75-inch (70 millimeter) rocket motors, warheads, and launchers. It simply inserts between the rocket motor and warhead for easy installation on a variety of platforms.

  • Requires no modifications to the standard rocket motor, firing platform or fire control system
  • Light weight allows pilots to carry more stowed weapons, to engage more targets in combat
  • Requires minimal training, for a seamless transition from firing Hydra rockets
  • New design for fixed-wing platforms took just seven months to integrate on the AV-8B Harrier

Cost effective

The APKWS system is the most cost effective laser-guided munition in its class. Instead of buying costly new weapon systems, users simply implement our upgrade into existing unguided rocket inventories for long range precision fires at the industry's lowest total ownership cost.

We maximize these cost savings by integrating our solution on platforms used around the world, such as the AH-64 Apache and F-16 Fighting Falcon, to expand mission flexibility.

Prepared for high demand

APKWS casings ready, responding to high demand for these precision-guided rockets.

Demand from U.S. and international governments for our advanced precision guidance kits is growing, and we are positioned to support this need. In 2016, we opened a new factory in New Hampshire to produce and deliver more units at an even faster rate. We offer a manufacturing capacity of up to 25,000 units per year, and are continuing to expand production.

With the majority of our supply chain in the United States, our centralized approach and aim to deliver zero defects optimizes overall production and delivery efficiency.

  • Over 6 years in full-rate production
  • More than 37,000 units have been delivered to date
  • Proven ability to surge capacity, accelerating over a thousand fixed-wing deliveries ahead of schedule

Available to all U.S. military, approved for export

BAE Systems' APKWS laser-guidance kit is available to all four U.S. military branches and through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to allied nations for ongoing combat operations.