Successful Testing of BAE Systems’ APKWS® Laser-Guidance Kits by US Counter-Drone Office

The US Joint Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) has successfully tested BAE Systems’ APKWS® laser-guidance kits in a counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) mission against Class-2 UAS, paving the way for the deployment of the precision-guided rockets to allied nations worldwide. The laser-guidance kits transform unguided rockets into smart munitions that can accurately strike soft and lightly armored targets. A newly developed proximity fuze for the standard M151 warhead permits the laser-guidance kits to target Class 2 and Class 3 drones, which typically weigh less than 55 pounds, while retaining the legacy point denotation capability for maximum flexibility of the weapon in the field. The APKWS® system enables rockets to engage and destroy drones at a fraction of the cost of existing C-UAS systems with unprecedented accuracy.

During a Department of Defense-led exercise at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, the 70mm APKWS-guided rockets demonstrated 100% effectiveness when fired against 25 to 50 pound drones traveling at over 100 miles per hour. The APKWS® C-UAS solution is platform agnostic, permitting multiple options to accelerate fielding.

“This new product was developed by our engineers’ passion for APKWS technology, designed to combat drones head-on,” said Aimee D’Onofrio, Director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. “This is an affordable solution, and with APKWS already in full-rate production, we can increase production up to 25,000 units per year to make an immediate impact.”

BAE Systems produces the APKWS laser-guidance kits at its advanced manufacturing facility in Hudson, New Hampshire. The kits are available to all US armed forces and allies through Foreign Military Sales.

For more information about the APKWS guidance kits, visit

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