APKWS Reaches Deployment

The US Marine Corps is planning to deploy the laser guided 2.75″ rocket to Afghanistan:

An unguided, Vietnam War-vintage missile with a dispersion pattern of up to 500 yards at medium ranges is being transformed into a precision air-to-ground weapon that already has been fired into a laser spot – about the size of a basketball – at a range of three miles.

The new weapon, with a warhead that can punch through a wall and then explode, is expected to be operational on U.S. Marine Corps helicopters in Afghanistan as early as this spring.

BAE Systems expects to deliver its next batch of low-rate production Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) missiles directly to the U.S. Marine Corps for shipment to operational units. The first 325 low-rate production missiles were delivered to the Navy Department in December, and the second lot of 600 will be dispatched in early fiscal 2012. With the end of operational testing in January, a full-rate production decision for about 1,000 missiles a year is expected to follow early in the year.

Particularly in a place like Afghanistan, where the opposition does not have heavy armor, it makes a lot more sense than something like the the Hellfire, which is too heavy and too expensive.

My other posts about this are here.

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