Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System by BAE to go aboard unmanned aircraft

NASHUA, N.H.-BAE Systems engineers will integrate the company's Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) onto the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), enabling it to engage targets on land and at sea with laser-guided accuracy, while also keeping warfighters out of harm's way.

The MQ-8B Fire Scout from Northrop Grumman in Falls Church, Va., is an unmanned autonomous helicopter used by the U.S. Armed Forces.

The system is being integrated onto the Fire Scout in response to an operational need and is being prepared for rapid deployment. BAE Systems will support this rapid APKWS integration by performing system analyses and modeling based on its high-fidelity, integrated flight simulator.

The MQ-8B unmanned helicopter, shown above, will receive rocket weapons from BAE Systems.
The MQ-8B unmanned helicopter, shown above, will receive rocket weapons from BAE Systems.

The APKWS's performance has been demonstrated on rotary- and fixed-wing manned aircraft prior to this effort to integrate it onto a UAV.

Unmanned aircraft can operate in regimes that are considered too hazardous for manned aircraft and dramatically expand the types of missions that can be conducted from surface ships.

The APKWS is a U.S. government program of record. U.S. Marine aviators completed the initial operational test and evaluation phase of the APKWS program, firing against stationary and moving targets from AH-1W and UH-1Y helicopters. The APKWS system has since been deployed in Afghanistan, and the company continues to ship units to theater for use against insurgent forces.

BAE Systems has been prime contractor on the APKWS program since 2006. The company is partnered with the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike Program Office at the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command for the development, integration, and delivery of the APKWS.

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