Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS)Derived from the combat-proven Hydra 70mm unguided rocket, the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rocket is essentially a laser-precise Hydra. It features a semi-active laser guidance system, providing greater accuracy compared to existing unguided rockets. Capable of achieving a direct hit on both moving and stationary targets, APKWS can be used from attack, armed reconnaissance, or other helicopters. The Apache firing one of its Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rockets. (Photo: army-technology.com) APKWS is based on General Dynamics' Hydra-70 70mm unguided rocket, and offers several warhead configurations as well as BAE System's Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker (DASALS). The system is programmed with the aircraft's laser code and loaded into the aircraft's rocket launcher. APKWS is designed to complement the Hellfire missile system, as well as to enhance an aircraft's existing rocket system. This provides a lower cost per kill for soft to lightly armored point targets. The laser-precise guidance of the APKWS also significantly reduces collateral damage.
Apache Block III copter moves to SDD phaseJul. 26, 2006 at 10:32AM A $619 million contract has been signed for the next phase of the U.S. Army's Block III AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter. Boeing reported Wednesday it had signed the SDD (system development and demonstration) pact earlier this month. "This new contract supports the long-term modernization of the Army's Apache helicopters," said Boeing project manager Scott Rudy. "Boeing and our industry partners will continue to work with the Army to apply the lessons learned and shared by battlefield commanders, aviators and soldiers." The contract covers development, testing and qualification costs that will follow on the original $66 million deal for risk-reduction engineering. The AH-64D has been a workhorse for the Army since the late 1980s and has been adopted by a number of allies. The aircraft is armed with a 30 millimeter chain gun and can carry a variety of rockets, including the heavyweight HELLFIRE missile, which was designed as an anti-tank weapon but is also useful against buildings, vehicles and caves used by insurgent forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Block III version of the familiar chopper is scheduled for delivery in 2011 and brings an improved readiness and smaller logistical footprint to Army aviation. The upgrade is more specifically centered on digital electronics that will tie the Apache in more closely with increasingly network-centric ground units and improve "battlespace dominance." The project calls for wideband communications capabilities, long-range sensors with data fusion for and the ability to control and interface with unmanned aerial vehicles at level IV.