The U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Qatar of Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) II Guidance Sections for an estimated cost of $300 million.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 9, 2018.
The Government of Qatar has requested a possible sale of 5,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) II Guidance Sections for their new AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.
Also included are 5,000 MK66-4 2.75 inch rocket motors, 5,000 high explosive warheads for airborne 2.75 inch rockets, inert MK66-4 2.75 inch rocket motors, inert high explosive warhead for airborne 2.75 inch rockets, support equipment, spares, training, publications, engineering technical assistance, program management technical assistance, logistics support services, and other related elements of program support.
The DSCA said in a statement that this proposed sale supports the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States. It added that Qatar is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Persian Gulf region and the mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) plays a predominant role in Qatar’s defense.
Qatar intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces. This will contribute to Qatar’s military goal by providing additional capability to its new AH-64E Apache helicopter fleet. The APKWS will provide Qatar with a low-cost precision strike capability, decreasing collateral damage and expanding its options for counterterrorism operations.
The principal contractor involved in this program is BAE, Nashua, New Hampshire.
Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS)
Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) also known as Laser, infrared Guided Rocket (LiGR) is a design conversion of Hydra 70 unguided rockets with a laser guidance kit to turn them into precision-guided munitions (PGMs).
APKWS is approximately one-third the cost and one-third the weight of the current inventory of laser-guided weapons, has a lower yield more suitable for avoiding collateral damage, and takes one quarter of the time for ordnance personnel to load and unload.
As of October 2015, BAE Systems had manufactured 5,000 APKWS units.