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BAE Systems has received a $175 million contract from the US Navy (USN) for the production of over 7,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided munitions. This latest award was made under the Navy’s 2016 $600 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, which is the contracting vehicle to supply APKWS munitions to the USN, US Marine Corps, US Army and US Air Force, as well as an increasing number of allied nations. This award extends that contract’s initial unit production cap and total value to meet the growing demand. The company expects additional orders to bring the total number of units for this production lot to 17,500, it stated on 8 May.

The innovative APKWS technology transforms standard 2.75-inch (70-millemeter) rockets into precision munitions by simply installing the guidance kit between the warhead and engine of an unguided rocket. The APKWS rocket’s extreme accuracy is ideal for minimising collateral damage to assets in close proximity to targets, thereby reducing risk for troops in the field while providing close air support. APKWS rockets are the only guided 2.75in rockets qualified by DoD for use on multiple military rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft in US and allied service.

BAE Systems continues to ramp up production capacity as it builds toward an annual production level of more than 20,000 units. The company is delivering munitions to meet surging customer at its state-of-the-art precision guidance manufacturing facilities in New Hampshire and Texas. Its strong supplier network has enabled it to accelerate full-rate production, exceed manufacturing expectations, and deliver units to the Navy ahead of schedule.

Global demand for our precision strike capabilities is being driven by a need for munitions that can strike soft targets with accuracy surrounded by friendly forces, civilians, and valuable assets,” commented the company’s Director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions, Marc Casseres. “With APKWS, our customers get a high-quality, reliable, easy-to-use product that is designed to hit intended targets with extreme accuracy.”

The APKWS is qualified for use on a wide range of fixed- and rotary-wing platforms in US and allied service. (Image: Artist’s impression via BAE Systems)

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