BAE Systems to debut next-generation rocket at Aero India

BAE Systems to debut next-generation rocket at Aero India

BAE Systems to debut next-generation rocket at Aero India

Britain's BAE Systems is to debut a next-generation rocket at the Aero India 2015 exposition that it says will leverage the military's existing infrastructure and inventory and enable low-cost surgical strikes.

The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rocket has been "developed as a highly cost-effective solution that leverages the military's existing infrastructure and inventory", a company statement said Friday. 

The APKWS turns a standard unguided 2.75-inch (70 mm) rocket into a precision laser-guided rocket "to give warfighters a low-cost surgical strike capability", the statement added.

Currently in its third year of full-rate production, the APKWS rocket has been successfully demonstrated on more than a dozen fixed-wing and rotary-wing platforms including AH-64 Apache, the F-16, the Bell 407, and the AH-1W. Building on in-theatre success by the US Marines, Jordan has chosen the APKWS for its CASA-235 light gunship aircraft.

The statement said that "encouraged" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call, BAE Systems' showcase at the tenth edition of Aero India (Jan 18-22 at Bengaluru) "extends its Make in India commitment to a range of platforms and technologies.

Building on the success of its flagship programme in India on the Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT), the company's pavilion will emphasize the continued development of the Hawk's training, performance and operational capabilities". India is the largest operator of the Hawk, with 123 aircraft ordered to date, of which over 90 have been delivered to the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. The Indian Hawks in service have clocked up over 75,000 flying hours.

BAE Systems has also commenced contract negotiations with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on a potential order to supply products and services for the manufacture of a further 20 Hawk aircraft. "The aircraft, to be built by HAL in Bengaluru, will fulfil the Indian Air Force requirement for its prestigious aerobatic team," the statement said.

Marking the company's "continued progress" in partnering Bharat Electronics Limited, the pavilion will dedicate a section to the "Internet for the battlespace" or secure, deployable broadband voice, data and video communications systems, the statement said.

"We have a long history of working with industry in India. Through our various programmes we have worked closely together to develop skills and capabilities in the Defence Industry. Our commitment to this will not change and India remains central to our future strategy," said Chris Boardman, managing director (Military Air and Information) at BAE Systems. 

"The backdrop of Make in India at the show this time makes it an excellent platform for us to strengthen existing partnerships and activate new ones," John Brosnan, managing director (India & South East Asia), said,