BAE Announces Upgraded Aircraft-Launched Laser-Guided Munition

BAE Systems recently announced an upgraded Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) that provides a 30 percent greater range.

The advanced version of the aircraft-launched laser-guided munition is also more precise, the defense manufacturer added. Production of the most recent version is slated to start by September.

“Our customers’ precision strike needs are changing,” said John Watkins, vice president and general manager of Precision Strike & Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. 

“We’re focused on evolving APKWS guidance kits to provide them with a more capable low-cost product that’s easy to use and known for its accuracy.”


The 2.75-inch (70 millimeters) rocket fills the gap between unguided rockets and anti-armor munitions, the developer explains, adding that it provides pinpoint accuracy to neutralize “soft targets.”

The rocket has a range of 1.5-5 km (0.93-3 miles) when fired from rotary-wing aircraft while fixed-wing launches can hit targets at a distance of 2-12 km (1.2-7.4 miles). 

Safe and Precise

The developer further explains that the munition’s guidance section locks onto targets from a distance of over three kilometers, which keeps the aircraft and the laser designator at a safer distance compared to similar munitions.

“APKWS block upgrade guidance kits create an optimized flight trajectory that enables the rocket to engage targets at a steeper angle of attack, providing improvements in range and lethality,” BAE states.

The developer further claims that the munition has a hit rate of over 93 percent, making it the “most accurate precision-guided weapon in its class.”


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