A Replacement for vehicle-mounted TOW Missiles?

BAE Systems tests tactical-configured ground-launch of APKWS laser-guided rockets
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Artist's concept of a vehicle-mounted launch of an APKWS laser-guided rocket.

Artist's concept of a vehicle-mounted launch of an APKWS laser-guided rocket. 

In 2020, BAE Systems successfully completed test shots of its APKWS® laser-guided rockets from a tactical configuration ground-based weapon system for the first time. The proof-of-concept testing demonstrated the flexibility of APKWS rockets to deliver standoff precision strike capabilities for ground forces, providing soldiers with a unique solution for engaging targets with greater range than small arms fire and without the need for air support.

BAE Systems tested the APKWS rockets at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and Arnold Defense, a premier manufacturer of rocket launchers. The team used Arnold’s FLETCHER 2.75-inch/70mm Weapon System concept – a purpose-built laser-guided rocket launcher for ground vehicles – to fire several successful shots. The ground-launch capability builds on hundreds of successful shots in combat from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.

The “FLETCHER” 2.75-inch/70mm Weapon System can be mounted on land-based military vehicles as well as, potentially, marine and littoral platforms.

The “FLETCHER” 2.75-inch/70mm Weapon System can be mounted on land-based military vehicles as well as, potentially, marine and littoral platforms.

Ground-launched APKWS rockets could provide mounted and dismounted units with a unique way to engage soft and lightly armored targets from a variety of platforms. The low size, weight, and power requirements of ground-launched APKWS rockets make them ideal for tactical lightweight vehicles, remote weapon stations, non-standard tactical vehicles, and stationary platforms, providing soldiers with precision munitions that improve their safety and mission effectiveness.

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 guided rocket system.

To date, 17 of the world's most utilized rotary- and fixed-wing launch platforms are qualified with BAE Systems' APKWS laser guided rocket system.

APKWS laser-guided rockets are the only U.S. government program of record for 2.75-inch (70-milimeter) laser-guided rockets. The APKWS rocket 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

The APKWS rocket bridges the gap between unguided rockets and anti-armor munitions, consistently delivering pinpoint accuracy to soft targets at a low cost.

The APKWS rocket bridges the gap between unguided rockets and anti-armor munitions, consistently delivering pinpoint accuracy to soft targets at a low cost.

In combat, our APKWS rocket has achieved over a 93 percent hit rate when fired from rotary- and fixed-wing platforms. All four U.S. armed forces use APKWS rockets. The U.S. Army has achieved numerous confirmed successful engagements in support of current combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Air Force has fired hundreds of fixed-wing units in theater to date, and the 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.

The APKWS is available to U.S. allies via Foreign Military Sales. 

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