April 13, 2013

Fire Scout (drone helicopter) to be armed with APKWS "mini-missiles"

The Fire Scout (drone helicopter) (imagery above and real photo below) is to be armed with a APKWS "mini-missiles" perhaps making for a much more flexible armed drone than the Predator-Reaper series.


The Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) missile (more details of missile here) can mount several warhead types including the M151 (which weighs 9lbs). This is half the weight of the Hellfire missile's warhead currently used by Predator-Reaper armed drones. Hence theoretically use of the APKWS might save the lives of some civilians near to hapless terrorist targets.

http://defensetech.org/2013/04/12/navy-loads-laser-guided-rockets-to-fire-scout/ April 12, 2013 reports:

"The U.S. Navy is adding laser-guided, precision-fire rockets to its vertical take-off and landing Fire Scout Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), service officials said.

The helicopter-like reconnaissance drone is currently being configured with Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS), a precision-guidance weapons technology program providing 2.75 folding-fin hydra-70 rockets with laser-guided pinpoint accuracy."

...Navy developers are enthusiastic about adding APKWS to the Fire Scout platform; APKWS is currently employed on UH-1Y (Marine "Huey") and AH-1Z (Marine SuperCobra) helicopters.

APKWS mini-missiles are also being tested on F-16s and A-10s http://defensetech.org/2013/04/19/air-force-testing-laser-guided-rockets-on-a-10s-f-16s/ .
The Fire Scout lacks many of the capabilities of Predator-Reapers (which have higher speed, much longer range, more comprehensive sensor suites and a "stand-off" capability that makes them relatively invisible and soundless to their intended targets].

Perhaps mounting APKWS on Predator-Reapers (if its not already happening) and other platforms may be a useful compromise to save lives of those (innocents) around the targeted individuals.

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