Australian Military Tests Laser-Guided Missiles
NASHUA, N.H., April 13, 2015 — Laser-based missile guidance systems scored 10 out of 10 hits in recent testing aboard an Australian military helicopter, according to developer BAE Systems Inc.
A photo illustration of an APKWS rocket being fired from an Airbus Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter. Courtesy of BAE Systems.
The test shots, conducted in November, were conducted in extreme heat conditions at ranges from 1500 to 4500 m, altitudes of 200 to 1500 feet and at speeds up to 140 knots. All 10 shots hit the target within 1 m of the laser spot.
David Harrold, BAE’s director of precision guidance solutions, said the mid-body design of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) can transform unguided Forges de Zeebrugge (FZ) rockets into precise weapons.
The APKWS rocket is now moving to the next stage of the Australian Defence Forces trial process, BAE said.
APKWS is the U.S. Department of Defense’s only fully qualified guided 70-mm rocket that uses semi-active laser guidance technology and is currently available to international customers through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.