U.S. Navy Begins Work on Fixed Wing Precision Weapons Platform

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Someoneforyou, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

    Jan 26, 2011
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    PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – On Feb. 10, the Navy awarded a contract marking the start of a two-year Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program to implement the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) on the Marine Corps’ AV-8B and the Air Force’s A-10 aircraft platforms.

    As demonstrated by operational requirements in theater, the need for precision laser-guided munitions with low collateral damage is an important capability currently not available to legacy fixed-wing aircraft.

    “This is an important capability for the Marine Corps and Air Force crews supporting the troops in harm’s way,” said Capt. Brian Corey, program manager for Direct and Time-Sensitive Strike Weapons. “The team is looking forward to showing that we can fill the capability gap that exists today.”

    If the APKWS II can be successfully demonstrated on these legacy aircraft, it will increase safety by allowing greater standoff range during employment as well as provide the ability to support operations in urban terrain.

    “This demonstration is important for these fixed wing aircraft to improve their ability to support our troops on the ground,” said Corey. “Both services are very excited about this demonstration and what it could mean in future operations. If we can show this can work, we’ll take those lessons learned and provide some potential cost savings back to the taxpayer.”

    APKWS II currently is on track to reach Initial Operating Capability in 2011 to deliver capability to the AH-1W and UH-1Y platforms with Fleet Marine Forces currently supporting operations in Afghanistan.

    Source: U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command
  3. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

    Jan 26, 2011
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    Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System

    APKWS offers the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air Force, and special operations forces a new weapon capability for air, ground, and seaborne platforms that bridges the gap between unguided small-diameter rockets and larger-diameter antiarmor munitions. Following 10 years of development and testing with cooperation from the Army and Navy, BAE Systems offers a robust, reliable mid-body guidance and control system for existing and new inventories of 2.75-inch (70-millimeter) rocket motors, warheads, launchers, designators, and fire control systems.

    The system’s guidance and control section is inserted between the warhead and rocket motor using standard tools, allowing ordnance crews to quickly transform a previously unguided rocket into a precision munition in the field or at a depot. It requires no modifications to the rocket, firing platform, or fire control/launcher system. The unique midbody configuration protects guidance components from environmental conditions, including debris and scorching from adjacent rocket firings.

    APKWS offers a high degree of accuracy, enabled by its Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker, or DASALSâ„¢, which provides a 40-degree instantaneous field of regard to allow precision engagements against moving and stationary targets.

    The system has been tested throughout the development program which began in 2002. Thirty-seven hits have been accumulated on stationary and moving targets at various ranges, altitudes, and temperatures. APKWS has been successfully launched from Marine Corps AH-1W Cobra and Army OH-58D(I) Kiowa helicopters in operational scenarios ranging from hover to fast attack.

    In early 2010, APKWS completed an integrated test series with the Marine Corps, scoring 19 for 19 in target accuracy. These tests were conducted with a variety of lasing sources, including ground designation, self-designation, and buddy designation using the AH-1Z and AV-8B.

    The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System turns a standard, unguided 2.75-inch (70-millimeter) rocket into a precision guided weapon to give warfighters a low-cost surgical strike capability. APKWS can be integrated directly onto the Super Cobra, Huey, Black Hawk, Kiowa Warrior, and Apache helicopters, and on fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.

    The system is compatible with autonomous and remote designator systems, allowing for long-standoff engagements. Its wide field of view and long-range laser acquisition allow precision engagements against moving and stationary targets in a variety of tactical situations and engagements. Guidance section installation is simple, requiring no special tools.

    High performance:

    – HELLFIRE®-like designation and accuracy
    – Standard 2.75-inch (70-mm) range
    – Compatible with a wide range of laser designators

    Integration planned or available for:

    – AH-1W/Z Super Cobra
    – AH-64A/D Apache
    – MH-60, SH-60R, OH-58D, AH-6
    – AV-8B
    – A-10, F-16, F-18
    – Unmanned Aerial Systems
    – M260/261 and LAU68/61 launchers

    Maximum flexibility:

    – Simple field or factory installation
    – Minimal training required
    – No impact to warhead/fuze effectiveness for M151 warhead
    – No impact to MK66 rocket motor
    – Takes full advantage of current inventories
    – No maintenance required

    Affordable technology:

    – Unique, low-cost laser seekers mounted on leading edges of each wing
    – Seeker protected from operational environments (dust, sand, debris, etc.) prior to launch
    – Advanced digital signal processing
    – MEMS inertial measurement unit
    – Low-cost, complementary weapon system for soft and lightly armored targets


    Source: BAE Systems
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  4. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

    Jan 26, 2011
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    BAE Systems Signs Contract Expanding APKWS to Fixed-Wing Aircraft for the U.S. Air Force and Navy
    7 MARCH 2011

    BAE Systems will expand the successful Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) to fixed-wing aircraft platforms for the U.S. Air Force and Navy.

    APKWS, developed by BAE Systems in partnership with the U.S. government, provides aviators with a highly precise weapon that is effective against soft and lightly armored targets while minimizing collateral damage - important in urban areas and other situations in which non-combatants or friendly forces are near hostile targets.

    The company signed a $19.7 million contract with the Navy for the new, 27-month program, which expands the APKWS application from rotary-wing aircraft to the Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II and the U.S Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier fixed-wing aircraft.

    The contract calls for analysis and prediction of APKWS performance when launched from the fixed-wing platforms as well as any minor design improvements to support the expanded flight envelope of the higher performance aircraft and reduce the recurring product unit cost.

    “This important program will culminate in aircraft flight test firings of 16 performance shots, 14 military utility assessment shots, and the delivery of 50 units for further evaluation of enhanced mission capability,” said Roy Rumbaugh, program manager for BAE Systems in Nashua, New Hampshire, where the APKWS guidance section is built.

    The Navy declared APKWS ready for production last April and the Marine Corps will initially deploy APKWS from AH-1W Cobra helicopters.

    APKWS is a low-cost alternative to other air-launched munitions currently in inventory. Because it uses standard launchers, APKWS requires no platform integration or aircraft modifications, and because it is loaded and fired like a standard 2.75-inch rocket, it requires little additional aviator or ordnance crew training. The mid-body design of its guidance section enables use of existing warheads, fuses, and rocket motors, enhancing the capability of the existing 100,000-unit inventory of unguided rockets.

    APKWS can be fired from any helicopter that can launch 2.75-inch rockets. While the initial platform is the AH-1W Cobra, APKWS also has been successfully demonstrated from a U.S. Army OH-58 Kiowa Warrior.

    APKWS is the Program of Record established by the U.S. government to meet warfighter requirements for a laser-guided 2.75-inch rocket. The Navy assumed acquisition executive oversight of the program in 2008 and has fully funded it for production. BAE Systems has been the APKWS prime contractor since 2006.

    Source: BAE Systems

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