The US Marine Corps has deployed the BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rocket system on its F/A-18C Hornets for the first time. The PMA-242 and PMA-265 program offices integrated the rocket system in 7.5 months for a deployment by VMFA-314 ‘Black Knights’.
The APKWS guidance kit transforms an unguided 2.75-inch (70 millimeter) rocket into a precision-guided rocket, giving warfighters a low-cost surgical strike capability.
The Lethality Upgrade Roadmap for Marine Hornets adds the AIM-120D AMRAAM as well as Litening pod air-to-air functionality. AIM-9X Block II, the Intrepid Tiger II jamming pod and APKWS. Also under consideration is the wing-kitted Joint Direct Attack Munition — Extended Range (JDAM-ER), GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) II, and the C1 version of the AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW).