A Brief History of APKWS

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.

  1. It started when the Army selected Hydra-maker General Dynamics to integrate a BAE Systems guidance system.
  2. That program got cancelled in January 2005, following a few test flights that "failed to meet objectives" (read: "missed the target")
  3. Next, the army decided to re-compete the program, inviting bids from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. It initially appeared that Congress might restore the funding to keep the army program on life support
  7. 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.

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One Response to A Brief History of APKWS

  1. Laura 11 May, 2007 at 12:52 pm #

    And… that goes for PGMM

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