09 Apr 10. The U.S. Navy has declared BAE Systems’ Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System ready to enter production. The decision, known as “Milestone C,” signifies that the APKWS development program has met its objectives and the system is ready to enter low-rate initial production. APKWS, developed by BAE Systems in partnership with the U.S. government, provides aviators with a highly precise weapon that is effective against soft and lightly armored targets while minimizing collateral damage — important in urban areas and other situations in which non-combatants or friendly forces are near hostile targets. The U.S. Marine Corps will initially deploy APKWS from AH-1W Cobra helicopters. Prior to being declared production-ready, APKWS underwent a rigorous series of flight, component, and all-up-round qualification tests. The flight tests, which culminated in a perfect 8-for-8 score in a series designed and conducted by Marine test pilots, demonstrated that the system’s accuracy exceeds government requirements. Throughout its eight-year history of flight tests, APKWS has hit an average distance from the center of the laser spot of less than 0.75 meters against a government specification of 2 meters.
09 Apr 10. The South Korean air force’s FA-50 light combat aircraft will be armoured with the Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) system to enhance its target acquisition capability. The weapon system is claimed to accurately detect and defeat a wide range of moving and stationary land and maritime target threats over a wide area with minimal collateral damage. SFW contains BLU-108 submunition and smart Skeet warheads equipped with dual-mode passive infrared and active laser sensors. Textron Defense Systems will deliver the systems to the Republic of Korea Air Force. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)
13 Apr 10. The multipurpose AGM 114R Hellfire II missile took its first live warhead flight test as part of the second proof-of principle (POP 2) flight test. The POP 2 flight test, conducted at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, US, featured a lock-on-after-launch engagement of a stationary target board at 2.5km. The R model, or Romeo missile, features a multipurpose warhead to enable a single Hellfire missile to cover all target sets of the currently fielded laser-guided variants. The Lockheed Martin-built missile can be integrated on both rotary-wing and UAV
platforms and launched from higher altitudes by increasing its impact angle, enhancing stealth and lethality. It provides a wide engagement zone to properly equipped platforms, enabling them to target and fire upon targets to the side and behind them. During the test, the multipurpose warhead was set with a delayed fuse, allowing penetration of the target before detonation. The missile launched with a low trajectory successfully hit the target board, which had been precisely designated by the laser aimpoint. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)