ARLINGTON, Va., April 19 (UPI) -- The laser-guided Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System by BAE Systems appears to be moving closer to approval for use on U.S. military fixed-wing aircraft.
"These latest test results underscore the power and versatility of the APKWS technology and provide further proof that the system can be launched off of any platform capable of shooting an unguided 2.75-inch rocket," said David Harrold, director of precision guidance solutions at BAE Systems.
"Since its introduction on Marine Corps helicopters in combat operations, the APKWS rocket has proven its ability to defeat a broad range of targets. This test is an important step in bringing that same capability to fixed-wing aviators."
In the tests, the rockets were fired at ground targets an altitude of 10,000 and 15,000 feet. The A-10 was flying at speeds up to 348 knots.
"The first controlled test-vehicle shot performed a series of pre-planned maneuvers to collect in-flight data," BAE said. "The second shot, into a 70-knot headwind, hit the target board well within the required 2 meters (about 6 feet) of the laser spot. The shot was laser-designated from the ground with a special operations forces marker."
The A-10 is the first Air Force platform to conduct testing of the fixed-wing variant of the APKWS weapon. The U.S. Marine Corps recently conducted similar tests off the AV-8B Harrier aircraft.
"At one-third the cost and one-third the weight of other precision weapons in inventory, the APKWS rocket is an ideal precision weapon for today's fiscal environment, reducing the direct cost of target engagement and the total operational cost of each sortie," BAE said.