Displaying the utility of APKWS® going against advanced military drones.

BAE Systems has been working through tests with the latest enhancements of APKWS®. Final ground-to-air test firings were completed to show the effectiveness of 70mm rockets led by APKWS® guidance kits. The guidance system was going up against Class-2 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) weighing between 25-50 pounds and traveling at speeds well over 100 miles per hour. 

Successful Arizona Demonstration

While running through a demonstration in Southern Arizona, five APKWS-guided counter-UAS rockets were deployed from a containerized weapon system. The rockets successfully destroyed all targets which included fast-moving drones. These tests led to the conclusion that APKWS guidance kits have the ability to enable low-cost, precise strikes against airspace threats. 

Following the completion of the demonstrations, Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE shared a few remarks. “Militarized drones are becoming more prevalent in conflicts around the world, and we’re giving our customers an efficient way to counter them without wasting expensive missiles.” He continues with, “Our tests demonstrate that APKWS guidance kits have the flexibility to engage a variety of targets to meet the evolving mission needs of the warfighter.” 


By combining standard motors and warheads with APKWS guidance kits and proximity/point-detonation fuzes, these 70mm rockets are able to destroy Class-2 aerial drones. A release from BAE Systems reads, “The resulting precision munition is a low-cost, supersonic, lock-on-after-launch strike weapon.” These weapons have large warheads weighing 10 pounds that have the capability to destroy large drones in seconds with or without making direct contact. 

APKWS-guided rockets are extremely effective against a multitude of soft and armored stationary and moving targets. These rockets can be fired at: jets, helicopters, trucks, boats, and weapon stations. As opposed to having nose-mounted seeker optics, these stowed APKWS guidance kits shield seeker optics from adjacent rocket fire. These kits are the only U.S. government program of record for 70mm laser-guided rockets. They are available to all U.S. armed forces, along with U.S. allies via Foreign Military Sales.