Yes - it look awhile, but this is how it is done right. Take a core of proven technology and fold in new potential. You minimize technology risk and cost.
After more than a decade of development, the Pentagon’s finally sending its newest laser-guided rocket into battle. First stop for the relatively svelte weapon: Afghanistan.Yep, your friend and mine - the 2.75" Hydra rocket.
The Navy on Tuesday confirmed that they’ve deployed the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) to several Marine Corps units in Afghanistan. Right now, the weapons are integrated with two different helicopters — the AH-1W Super Cobra and the UH-1Y Super Huey — but they’ve got the capability to be fired off from pretty much any aerial vehicle.
With a pricetag that’s around $10,000 per missile, the systems are an order of magnitude less expensive than Hellfire missiles, the military standbys that run around $100,000 each. And it’s not just the cost. At 35 pounds, the APKWS is a third as heavy as the Hellfire,
Low collateral damage and can be carried by almost everything, including toys.
The APKWS could also aid another star-crossed military endeavor. The Navy’s Fire Scout robotic helicopters, which were grounded last week after recent mishaps and crash-landings, are expected to be armed with the APKWS missiles when they next hit the skies.Well done.