A brief history of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), which sounds a bit sinister but merely seeks to add a guidance system to a standard Hydra 2.75-inch rocket.
- It started when the Army selected Hydra-maker General Dynamics to integrate a BAE Systems guidance system.
- That program got cancelled in January 2005, following a few test flights that "failed to meet objectives" (read: "missed the target")
- Next, the army decided to re-compete the program, inviting bids from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
- After a year-long competiton, the army surprised Raytheon and Lockheed Martin by selecting the original supplier, with BAE Systems now in the lead and General Dynamics as a subcontractor. That was in September.
- Four months later, the army pulled the plug again on the program, citing funding shortages as it zero’d funding for the program in the fiscal year 2008 budget
- It initially appeared that Congress might restore the funding to keep the army program on life support
- Instead, it now seems that the navy and marine corps has taken the lead, recently issuing a solicitation for a "low cost guided imaging rocket", which sounds very much like a euphemistically named APKWS
You’ve heard the old saying that old soldiers never die? No. It’s their developmental weapons programs that never die.