Marine Corps squadron receives first variant of Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 233 operating the AV-8B Harrier received the first fixed-wing aircraft variant of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS).

“This capability will provide commanders with a warfighting alternative to better enable weapon-to-target pairing,” says Col. Fred Schenk, AV-8B Harrier Weapon System (PMA-257) program manager.

The 2.75-inch rockets equipped with Semi-Active Laser (SAL) guidance capability was fielded by PMA-257 and the Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program office (PMA-242).

The Navy’s program offices conducted the two-phase program within seven months of the initial requested requirement by the Marine Corps, officials say. The first phase expedited fielding of a limited AV-8B employment flight envelope capability, which included the delivery of 80 guidance kits. The second phase will expand the fixed-wing APKWS limits to the maximum extent for the AV-8B.

“The intent of this requirement was to quickly provide the AV-8B with a low-cost, low-collateral damage, high-precision weapon in support of ,” says Navy Capt. Al Mousseau, PMA-242 program manager.

’ APKWS is the only fully qualified 2.75-inch weapon, officials say. The SAL is a that allows the system to beam-ride reflected laser energy.

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