The U.S. Navy awarded BAE Systems a contract worth upward of $600 million to provide additional Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets, the company said Wednesday.

The initial award is a $130 million three-year, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to help speed the delivery of the rockets to meet Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, and allied nations’ needs, BAE said.

Example of an APKWS being shot. Image: BAE Systems
Example of an APKWS being shot. Image: BAE Systems

The APKWS laser-guided rockets are built around the company’s Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker technology with a mid-body guidance section that fits between the motor and warhead. It can take a standard model unguided 2.75-inch munition into an accurate rocket. The APKWS design requires no modifications to the rocket, launch platform, or launch system, BAE said.

To address an increasing demand for the APKWS rockets, BAE built a new facility in New Hampshire that is designed to meet a significant increase in rocket production, the company said. BAE expects to be able to ramp up production to 20,000 APKWS guidance units per year plus the potential for further growth.

“The Navy has been a tremendous partner, and this latest contract includes valuable provisions that allow other services and allies to leverage this small guided munition program of record. The large demand for this cost-effective technology is a testament to its highly innovative design, and this contract will allow us to greatly increase production,” David Harrold, director of precision guidance solutions at BAE Systems, said in a statement.

The APKWS system has been used by the Marine Corps as a Navy program of record since 2012. It has also been qualified or demonstrated on more than 14 rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, BAE said.