USAF fixed-wing aircraft have used BAE Systems’ Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System in combat for the first time. The service has fielded the laser-guided rockets—designed to minimize collateral damage—on A-10s and F-16s in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a BAE release. The Marine Corps fielded the 2.75-inch rockets on its AV-8B Harrier in March, according to a Navy release. Army and Marine helicopters have also used the rockets, which are qualified or demonstrated on more than a dozen platforms, in combat. The Air Force is buying its initial supply of rockets from the Navy’s inventory.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.