BAE Systems is hoping to propel sales of an aircraft-launched precision-guided rocket after reaching a new marketing agreement with MBDA.

Linked to the advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS) produced in the USA by BAE Systems Inc, the pact is especially targeted at meeting potential demand in Europe, the companies say.

“We anticipate this joint marketing effort will create a channel to meet the increasing demand from the European market for the APKWS rocket,” says David Harrold, director of precision guidance solutions at BAE Systems Inc, the USA subsidiary of BAE Systems. The US company’s product adds a laser seeker module to a previously unguided 70mm-diameter (2.75in) rocket to provide an affordable strike capability.

“The system is suitable for a wide range of rotary and fixed-wing platforms, and complements our existing portfolio,” says MBDA’s group business development director, Paul Mead.

APKWS has already been qualified on the Bell AH-1W/Z and UH-1Y, Boeing AH-64D and Sikorsky MH-60S rotorcraft, and demonstrated from fixed-wing platforms including the Boeing AV-8B Harrier II, Fairchild Republic A-10 and Lockheed Martin F-16.

APKWS and A-10 - BAE Systems

BAE Systems

BAE has a 37.5% stake in MBDA, with the Airbus Group having the same percentage and Finmeccannica holding the remaining 25%.