PATUXENT RIVER, Md., March 31 (UPI) -- The first fixed-wing variant of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System has been delivered to a Marine Attack Squadron of AV-8B Harriers by the U.S. Navy.
The APKWS is a 2.75-inch rocket with semi-active laser guidance for precision strikes in built up areas. It has been used by helicopters.
The Navy said the fixed-wing variant system was delivered to the Marines earlier this month.
"This capability will provide commanders with a warfighting alternative to better enable weapon-to-target pairing," said Col. Fred Schenk, AV-8B Harrier Weapon System (PMA-257) program manager.
PMA-257 and the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program office, PMA-242, worked together to define a two-phase program to quickly field the variant. The first phase expedited fielding of 80 guidance kits. The second phase will expand the fixed-wing APKWS employment envelope.
"The intent of this requirement was to quickly provide the AV-8B with a low-cost, low-collateral damage, high-precision weapon in support of combat operations," said Navy Capt. Al Mousseau, PMA-242 program manager. "This entire effort showcases what unity of effort among all government and industry stakeholders can accomplish to expediently deliver capability."
APKWS is made by BAE Systems.