Australia: The Australian Defence Forces recently concluded a highly successful trial of BAE Systems’ Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rocket for use on its Army and Navy helicopters. The ground trial marks the first time the APKWS technology, which transforms a standard unguided 2.75-inch (70-millimeter) rocket into a precision laser-guided weapon, has been demonstrated on a Forges de Zeebrugge (FZ) rocket.
During the ground-based live fire event held at the Woomera Prohibited Area test range in South Australia, the APKWS laser-guided technology was on target with all seven shots fired while integrated with the FZ90 rocket motor and warhead. There was no modification required to the guidance kit to integrate with the FZ rocket. Based on the successful test, the Australian Army intends to conduct a live fire flight trial in November that could lead to the APKWS rocket fielding on the Army’s Airbus Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter and Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk platforms beginning in 2015. Conducted by the Australian Aerospace Operational Support Group, the trial was designed to qualify the APKWS rocket for use by the Australian military to bridge the current capability gap between unguided small-diameter rockets and larger-diameter anti-armor munitions. According to a spokesperson from the company, the flexibility of the APKWS technology allowed the Australian Defence Force to move from concept to live fire trial in a matter of months while using its current rocket inventory and equipment.
Source: BAE system