The US Army has reopened a competition to develop a guided version of the Hydra 70 air-launched unguided rocket after cancelling a contract with General Dynamics to develop the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) because of cost and schedule overruns caused by technical problems.

A request for proposals for the APKWS II programme was issued last week, with a contract award expected in February/March 2006. GD’s 2003 contract to produce the APKWS was curtailed in January after three out of four development flight tests failed. The US Army said the programme was late, the weapon was not meeting requirements, and prices for the first production lots were too high.

GD ran the original competition to add a precision guidance system to 70mm (2.75in) Hydra rockets already in the army inventory, selecting BAE Systems over Raytheon to supply the laser seeker. Raytheon has teamed with Aerojet, EFW and Goodrich to bid for the APKWS II deal as prime contractor to supply the army with a complete weapon to be operational in 2008.

Source: Flight International