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BAE awarded contract for rocket systems

NASHUA - BAE Systems has been awarded a $41.3 million contract for laser-guided rocket weapons systems.

The contract, announced Tuesday, modifies a previously awarded contract, as the Pentagon exercises its option to purchase 1,476 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) Guidance Sections.

The Navy announced in August it had authorized BAE to step up to full production on the APKWS systems for delivery to the U.S. Marine Corps, which have been using the rockets in Afghanistan since March.

The Nashua location will get 70 percent of the work, with 30 percent going to the BAE plant in Austin, Tex., for a completion date of September 2014.

"BAE Systems designed the APKWS technology to fill the gap between the Hellfire missile and unguided rockets," said John Watkins, director of Precision Guidance Solutions for BAE Systems, in August. "The weapon is doing its job providing our warfighters with a precise and reliable rapid-fire missile system, especially effective in the difficult terrain of Afghanistan."

The system converts the Hydra 70 unguided rocket into a laser-guided rocket through the addition of a mid-body guidance unit developed by BAE and can be fired from any helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft that can fire Hydra 70 rockets, the company said.


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