Key to C-UAS Success is Innovative Proximity Fuze
BAE Systems, Inc., has successfully tested Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets in precision strike tests against Class 2 UAS, the company announced on 11 October.
The 2.75in test rockets combined standard M151 warheads and Mk66 motors with APKWS precision guidance kits and a newly-developed proximity fuze – enabling them to engage and destroy airborne drones at a fraction of the cost of traditional counter-UAS strike capabilities.
“Unmanned Aerial Vehicles of all sizes are a growing threat increasingly deployed by adversaries around the globe,” explained Greg Procopio, Director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Systems at BAE Systems. “The flexibility and affordability of APKWS rockets make them a good choice for taking out small, tactical military drones. Our successful test strikes demonstrate the creativity of our engineers and an innovative and economical use of existing DoD materiel to address an emerging threat.”
The key to APKWS’ counter-UAS capability is the innovative proximity fuze, jointly developed by L3Harris Technologies and Technology Service Corporation. It combines target proximity detection and point detonation capabilities, and is a drop-in replacement for existing M423 fuzes – allowing APKWS rockets to destroy UAS without the need for a direct hit.
Unlike expensive C-UAS missiles, APKWS rockets do not need to lock on the target before launch, instead relying on semi-active laser guidance optics that activate on launch, saving operators precious seconds when it counts. APKWS guidance kits transform unguided rockets into precision-guided munitions with explosive effects and range capabilities that make them well-suited for today’s dynamic military engagements.