Defense

March 30, 2016
 

Navy deploys new APKWS design for fixed-wing aircraft

An AV-8B Harrier equipped with the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) during a test event at China Lake, Calif. The U.S. Navy delivered the first fixed-wing aircraft variant of APKWS in March 2016 to Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 233 operating the AV-8B Harrier in theater.

The U.S. Navy delivered the first fixed-wing aircraft variant of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System in March 2016 to Marine Attack Squadron 233 operating the AV-8B Harrier in theater.   

Seven months after receiving a requirement from Marine Corps headquarters, two program offices based at Patuxent River fielded the 2.75-inch rockets equipped with Semi-Active Laser guidance capability.

“This capability will provide commanders with a war fighting alternative to better enable weapon-to-target pairing,” said Col. Fred Schenk, AV-8B Harrier Weapon System (PMA-257) program manager.

PMA-257 and the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program office (PMA-242) worked together to define a two-phase program to quickly field the weapon variant.  The first phase expedited fielding of a limited AV-8B fixed-wing APKWS employment flight envelope capability.  This included the delivery of 80 guidance kits. The second phase will expand the fixed-wing APKWS employment envelope limits to the maximum extent possible for AV-8B.

“The intent of this requirement was to quickly provide the AV-8B with a low-cost, low-collateral damage, high-precision weapon in support of combat operations,” said Navy Capt. Al Mousseau, PMA-242 program manager. “This entire effort showcases what unity of effort among all government and industry stakeholders can accomplish to expediently deliver capability.”

APKWS, a product of BAE Systems, is the only DOD fully qualified 2.75-inch rocket that uses Semi-Active Laser guidance technology to strike targets in built-up and confined areas. The SAL is a laser seeker which allows the system to beam-ride reflected laser energy. The reflected laser energy is sourced by either airborne or ground-based laser designators providing positive target acquisition.

PMA-242 is responsible for the acquisition, development and sustainment of weapon systems, including anti-radiation missile systems; airborne rocket systems; precision guided munitions; airborne gun systems; and joint air-to-ground munitions. PMA-257 is responsible for life cycle sustainment of the AV-8B Harrier Weapon System for the U.S. Marine Corps and its allied partners.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines – September 25, 2017

News New order bars almost all travel from seven countries – President Trump on Sept. 24 issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country....
 
 

News Briefs – September 25, 2017

Iranian Guard drills near Iraq ahead of Kurdish referendum Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard has begun a military exercise in the northwestern Kurdish region near the Iraqi border ahead of a Kurdish independence referendum in the neighboring country. The Guard’s website did not say how long the drill will last, only that airborne and missile units...
 
 
af-aircrew

Air Force leaders address aircrew crisis

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Lawrence Martin, assistant deputy under Secretary of the Air Force for Internal Affairs, listens as Capt. Michael Byrnes, Chief of Staff doctoral scholar, briefs attendees about pi...