APKWS in Use

As you probably know, I am a fan of the APKWS (Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System) because I think it could provide a substantial upgrade for our cutters, particularly the smaller ones. The system is quick, accurate, effective, light weight, uncomplicated, inexpensive, requires little training, has minimum impact on the platform, and limits collateral damage.

The VAMPIRE system can fit in almost any pickup or vehicle with a cargo bed. (Courtesy of L3Harris)

Thanks to Walter for alerting me to this short video of the system in use.

Looks to me, like they are targeting observation posts along the river.

6 thoughts on “APKWS in Use

  1. It sure seems small enough for most of our cutters, down to the Sentinel Class. Not so sure where it could go on an 87 though. The NSC and OPC could certainly handle an even larger version of it. I’m curious if a bigger quantity launcher would be required or if it’s a simple quick reload?

    • There is a 24-round launcher available from the same company that makes the 4-round launcher.

      These guided rockets have their limitations though. Range is only 3 miles and a laser designator must be kept trained on the target until impact.

      Something like JAGM seems more useful in the Naval context. The missile is fire and forget with a range of 5 to 10 miles depending on the version and a larger warhead.

      The APKWS is lighter and cheaper though.

      • I would be happy to see Hellfire or JASM on cutters in lieu of APKWS, in fact I would prefer it, but APKWS is an easier, cheaper answer, and probably could be made more widely available. That the Coast Guard would adopt both systems is probably too much to hope for.

  2. The Commandant of the Coast Guard went on record at one point saying there would be no guided missiles on Coast Guard vessels.

    With current leadership in place, it is extremely unlikely any on these guided missiles will be deployed.

    It is a cultural issue. I understand the rational but if a Naval conflict does kick off, the Navy will request CG assistance as they have always done.

    With the declining number of Navy surface combatants and patrol craft, this is more likely than ever.

    Taking smalls steps to better prepare the CG for a wartime/kinetic environment seems prudent.

    • I doubt the Commandant was thinking of anything as small as the APKWS or even Hellfire/JASM. The Coast Guard has been looking for systems that minimize the probability of collateral damage. APKWS might be the answer. Most of the time APKWS is not referred to as a guided missile (though it is) but rather as a guided rocket. Might make it easier to accept.

      The Commandant wants to keep the law enforcement image rather than look like a warship.

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