Saudi Arabia’s attack helicopters get APKWS capability

Boeing has been awarded a $ 10.7 million contract to integrate the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) II on the Saudi Arabian National Guard’s (SANG’s) 23 AH-6i light attack helicopters, the US Department of Defense has announced. 

The BAE Systems APKW includes the Sisa laser guidance kit for Hydra 70mm air-to-surface rockets. The contract is expected to be completed by 30 March 2022 and also covers the installation of other equipment. The SANG received the first of the 24 AH-6is, Little Bird light attack/reconnaissance helicopter, in December 2016 but one crashed in a training accident in September 2018.

The versatile Hydra 70mm rocket family is primed for a new lease on life, thanks to widespread programs aimed at converting these ubiquitous rockets into cheap laser-guided precision weapons. Conversion benefits include cost, use on both helicopters and fighters, more precision weapons per platform, low collateral damage, and the activation of large weapon stockpiles that couldn’t be used under strict rules of engagement.

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