The US Air Force fired a BAE Systems’ Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS) from an A-10 in February, a first for the Warthog.
“In improving rocket accuracy by several orders of magnitude, the APKWS makes the rocket a better weapon for today’s low intensity conflicts, where minimizing collateral damage is a top priority,” says Maj Travis Burton, a 40th Flight Test Squadron A-10 pilot who flew the APKWS trials at Eglin AFB, Florida. “Rockets are a staple close-air support weapon, but their weakness has always been their poor accuracy when shot at range.”
The test unit performed three sorties to demonstrate the capability and ensure the rocket could be fired safely from a fixed wing aircraft, according the USAF. It’s a test that had never been done before.
The APKWS is a 2.75 diameter, 35-pound, laser-guided rocket.