US delivers APKWS laser-guided rockets to Lebanon

15 February 2019 (Last Updated February 15th, 2019 11:35)

The US Government has delivered a consignment of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets meant for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).

US delivers APKWS laser-guided rockets to Lebanon
The delivery of the APKWS laser-guided rockets is part of the US Assistance Program dedicated to the LAF. Credit: US Embassy in Lebanon.

The US Government has delivered a consignment of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets meant for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).

APKWS rockets delivered to Lebanon are valued at more than $16m and will arm the Lebanese Air Force’s A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft built by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Embraer.

The ammunition was delivered by the US Embassy in Lebanon as part of the US Assistance Program dedicated to the LAF.

In a statement, the US Embassy said: “Today’s delivery demonstrates the US Government’s firm and steady commitment to support to the Lebanese Armed Forces in their capacity as the sole, legitimate defender of Lebanon.

“Since 2005, the United States has invested over $2bn in our strong partnership with the Lebanese Armed Forces.”

“Manufactured by BAE Systems, the APKWS is low-cost ammunition that transforms an unguided 2.75in rocket into a precision-guided rocket.”

Lebanon finalised the acquisition of six A-29 Super Tucano turboprop aircraft in November 2015. The deal also includes the complete training system for Lebanese Air Force pilots and mechanics. It was approved by the US State Department in June 2015.

Along with the aircraft, the US approved the provision of associated equipment, parts and logistical support, including 2,000 APKWS.

Manufactured by BAE Systems, the APKWS is low-cost ammunition that transforms an unguided 2.75in rocket into a precision-guided rocket.

The rocket supports integration onto multiple military rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.

The APKWS comprises advanced DASALS seeker optics. Upon firing, the wings deploy and the optics lock in, allowing the rocket to hit the target with precision.

In May, BAE won a $175m contract from the US Navy to deliver more than 7,000 APKWS rockets under a $600m indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract that was initially signed in 2016.