Tag Archives: Arnold Defense

Laser-Guided Rockets

BAE Systems successfully completed test shots of its Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets from a tactical configuration ground-based weapon system for the first time. The proof-of-concept testing demonstrated the flexibility of APKWS rockets to deliver standoff precision strike capabilities for ground forces, providing warfighters with a unique solution for engaging targets with greater range than small arms fire and without the need for air support.

BAE Systems successfully completed test shots of its APKWS laser-guided rockets from a tactical configuration ground-based weapon system for the first time

BAE Systems tested the APKWS rockets at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and Arnold Defense, a premier manufacturer of rocket launchers. The team used Arnold’s FLETCHER 2.75-inch/70-mm Weapon System concept – a purpose-built laser-guided rocket launcher for ground vehicles – to fire several successful shots. The ground-launch capability builds on hundreds of successful shots in combat from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.

«Our customers see the value in low-cost, precision-strike capabilities that reduce the risk of collateral damage, and they want the flexibility to deliver them from the platform of their choice», said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. «Demand is growing for ground-to-ground precision munitions that provide a safe standoff distance for small ground units. We’re working closely with our customer and partners to deliver that capability».

Ground-launched APKWS rockets could provide mounted and dismounted units with a unique way to engage soft and lightly armored targets from a variety of platforms. The low size, weight, and power requirements of ground-launched APKWS rockets make them ideal for tactical lightweight vehicles, remote weapon stations, non-standard tactical vehicles, and stationary platforms, providing warfighters with precision munitions that improve their safety and mission effectiveness.

«We designed FLETCHER specifically as a ground launcher for precision-guided 70-mm rockets», said Jim Hager, president and CEO at Arnold Defense. «FLETCHER-launched APKWS rockets enable our military customers to engage targets from more than just airborne platforms. We envision FLETCHER being used on everything from trucks and tracked vehicles to marine platforms in the future».

APKWS laser-guided rockets are the only U.S. government program of record for precision-guided 70-milimeter rockets. All four U.S. armed forces use APKWS rockets, and it is available to U.S. allies via Foreign Military Sales. FMS activities support more than a dozen partner nations and interest from other nations.

BAE Systems’ long range precision fires solutions use advanced technologies to consistently and effectively hit a variety of targets in complex environments from long distances, resulting in successful land, air and sea missions.

Rocket Launcher

Arnold Defense, the St. Louis based manufacturer of 2.75-inch/70-mm rocket launchers, is pleased to announce receipt of the first order for their unique FLETCHER Land Based, Laser Guided Rocket Launcher. The FLETCHER 2.75-inch/70-mm weapon system was first unveiled just 18 months ago at DSEi in London. Since the launch, FLETCHER has been showcased at a number of international exhibitions, generating exceptional levels of interest whilst Arnold Defense have continued with an ongoing development and investment program to broaden and prove the system’s already revolutionary capability.

Arnold Defense announces the first order for Fletcher Laser Guided Rocket Launcher
Arnold Defense announces the first order for Fletcher Laser Guided Rocket Launcher

With FLETCHER, Arnold Defense has made a bold departure from the traditional concept of use for 2.75-inch/70-mm rocket systems; that of an area suppression weapon delivered by aviation assets. Arnold’s evolution has FLETCHER using advanced rocket-guidance technology to utilize ground-based launch platforms, meeting the demands of modern, vehicle-mounted and dismounted asymmetric warfare.

FLETCHER’s unique design allows for ease of operation, maintenance and sustainment. It employs an existing suite of guidance modules, rockets and warheads, already used in well-known programs and readily available to global forces. FLETCHER is supported by a team of global defense industry companies, collaborating under Arnold Defense’s leadership to combine their complimentary expertise.

The first customer for the FLETCHER system, who cannot yet be disclosed, has committed to purchasing FLETCHER due to the system’s ability to accurately engage targets at a range of over 5 km/3.1 miles, with a 100% hit rate in recent test-firings. This first order is for an initial batch of launchers, with a larger order expected to follow once successful user trials and demonstrations have been completed.

Mike Brown, Vice President and COO of Arnold Defense said, «Given that the FLETCHER concept was unveiled to the public only 18 months ago, Arnold Defense is delighted to have signed what we anticipate to be the first of many contracts for the supremely capable FLETCHER surface-based rocket launcher». He added, «FLETCHER has generated huge interest globally with its unique capability to deliver organic, long-range precision firepower to even the smallest tactical element. It is great to see serious international interest now developing into firm orders».