The Drive/The Warzone has a post “What Will Fire The Laser-Guided Rockets Donated To Ukraine Is Still A Mystery,” discussing how Advance Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser guided rockets might be used by Ukrainian Armed Forces. Apparently the US is providing $22.6M worth of the systems.
We have discussed possible Coast Guard use of this weapons system several times, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The weapon is ideal for engaging small, fast, highly maneuverable surface targets, but its warhead is large enough that several hits could seriously damage larger targets. It has also been tested successfully against Unmanned Air Systems. There seems to be some indication APKWS might be mounted alongside the gun on the Mk38 mounts.
The post includes several videos including the one above that shows at least a couple of mounts including a simple ring mount and a remote weapon station. These demonstrate how small the footprint of this weapon can be.
Perhaps more importantly, it reports current and planned production figures for this weapon, that clearly show it to be common, proven, and widely available.
“… the U.S. military has a lot of 70mm rockets and buys thousands more every year. The Army alone plans to buy 60,000 unguided rockets in fiscal 2023 alone. BAE Systems, which builds the APKWS II seeker kit, is tooled to build 25,000 of them per year and is expanding production, according to its website. It has already delivered 37,000 units in six years of production.”
Probably the Roketsan “Cirit” which is the Turkish-made license produced Hydra-70 Laser-Guided Rocket, or one of the other seven countries in NATO that have licences to produce it, or one of the twelve other countries that the Ukraine Republic also does business with that also have licences to produce it…
The post noted that the Cirit was already being used, but it is not a system the US can provide. We know they are getting APKWS, but we don’t know how it will be used.
APKWS as a weapon for an unmanned vehicle. https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/army-tests-uncrewed-m113-armed-with-laser-guided-rocket-launcher
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Another example of surface launched APKWS.
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Drone-killing Vampires due in Ukraine next year, Pentagon says
” The U.S. is aiming to send Ukraine the “Vampire” counter-drone system by mid-2023, with a contract award expected within months, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.”
A good summary of the APKWS program here: