BAE Systems Awarded $2.7 Billion APKWS Guided Rocket Contract

two rockets mounted in a rocket pod

Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II loaded on an A-10. Source: U.S. Air Force

BAE Systems was awarded a $2.7 billion contract from the U.S. Navy for Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) II full-rate production Lots 8-12.  This award procures WGU-59/B units to upgrade the current 2.75-inch Hydra rocket system to a semi-active laser-guided precision weapon.  The deal is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.

The contract supports the U.S. Navy, Army, and Air Force and forms military sales requirements for the governments of Iraq, Lebanon, Netherlands, Jordan, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Tunisia, Philippines, and Australia.

Work will be performed in Hudson, New Hampshire (54%), and Austin, Texas (46%), and is expected to be completed in December 2025.  No funds were obligated at the time of the award.  Rather, funding will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued.

Full-rate production of APKWS II began in 2012.  Unguided Hydra rockets are outfitted with a laser seeker assembly equipped with a proportional navigation guidance component.  As with a Paveway laser-guided bomb, the guided rocket homes in on the laser energy reflected from the target.

The Army requested $255.5 million for Hydra rockets in FY20, which procures 28,322 unguided and 5,422 guided rockets.  The Air Force is seeking $218.2 million in FY20 for 5,400 APWKS guidance sections.  The Navy’s request contains $76.8 million for rocket procurement.

About Shaun McDougall

As editor of International Military Markets, North America, Shaun has cultivated a deep understanding of the vast defense markets in the United States and Canada. Shaun's perspective on defense procurement and budget issues has been cited in a variety of defense periodicals, including Defense News and National Defense Magazine. Further, Shaun played an integral role in the development of Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast product, which offers an unprecedented level of insight into the Pentagon's acquisition budget. In addition to providing original analytical content for the U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, Shaun oversees an internal defense budget forecasting process involving Forecast International's team of skilled systems analysts following release of the DoD's annual budget request. Shaun is also in charge of managing Forecast International's Weapons Inventory database.

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