The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System is a low-cost, semi-active laser-guidance system sized to fit the 2.75-in aerial rocket.
It is optimized for precision, low-collateral damage strike against moving or stationary light vehicle and personal targets. Illuminating and white phosphorous rounds are used for target marking by Forward Air Control aircraft.
USAF acquired the system as an urgent operational requirement, and it was employed in combat for the first time by an F-16 in June 2016.
The weapon employs a mid-body guidance package to convert the standard rocket into a guided weapon.
APKWS was already in service with the three other services, and initial weapons were procured from Navy stocks. The rockets are launched from multi-round, reusable pods.
FY20 funds procure 5,400 APKWS guidance kits. An F-16 successfully destroyed an airborne target using APKWS as part of an anti-cruise missile demo in 2019.
Contractor: BAE Systems.
First Flight: May 2013 (USAF).
Delivered: October 2012-present.
Active Variant: •AGR-20A. Semi-active, laser-guided 2.75-in rocket, adapted for fixed-wing use.
Dimensions: Span 9.5 in, length 6.25 ft, diameter 2.75 in.
Propulsion: Solid-propellant rocket motor.
Performance: Subsonic, range 1.2 to 6.8 miles.
Guidance: Semi-active laser.
Warhead: HE, white phosphorous, or illuminating round.
Integration: AT-6, A-10, A-29, F-16.