Marine Corps Test Fires APKWS Rockets from UH-1Y Helicopter

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Photo: BAE Systems

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps recently successfully fired the first shots of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS) from a UH-1Y helicopter, in preparation for fielding in 2012. The successful shots, which took place at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, California, Sept. 9-13, mark the start of APKWS testing on the UH-1Y, as part of the program’s low-rate initial production phase.

U.S. Marine Corps UH-1Y fires the APKWS semi active laser guided rocket. Photo: BAE Systems

Developed by BAE Systems in partnership with the U.S. government, the APKWS semi-active laser guidance section integrates with existing 2.75-inch rocket motors and warheads, giving aviators a highly precise weapon that is effective against soft and lightly armored targets while minimizing collateral damage. BAE Systems designed the system’s laser guidance and control section.

During the tests, Marine pilots fired a total of six shots from a UH-1Y against stationary targets with ranges varying from 1.5 to 5 kilometers. The initial shots from UH-1Y mark the first time a MK152 warhead has been fired from any aircraft, allowing safer operation aboard ships than the previous M151 warhead.