APKWS or Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System - OOORAH!

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
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I am 100% sure that this is computer hardware related, because the narrator says that the system is "plug and play" and that is Microsoft, right? And "warthog" has something to do with Halo, right? Microsoft again? If you really want to talk about guns, head over to the subscription access section of the HardForum. You are sure to be offended in there, at least daily.

Check out the video.

A-10 Warthogs Now Carry Laser-Guided Rockets
 

Gigus Fire

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Aren't a-10s supposed to be mothballed? Now they're added laser guided rockets as if that's new? Maybe for the warthog, but i don't think it is for other planes.
 

SuperSubZero

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I can only hope to own something in my lifetime that has an acronym with a K in it and the K is for Kill.
 

otherweeb

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The Air Force has wanted to mothball them, but they keep proving to be to darn effective in it's dedicated ground attack role and there ain't nuthin that's it's equal.

As to the missile, holy utility belt Batman, modular multi role missile!
 

CombatChrisNC

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Good. Using a Hellfire or a Maverick is a huge waste on someone with a machine gun behind some sandbags.

And much much more accurate than the unguided units.

Ok, so what's the price?

Per Hellfire, per guided rocket, and per dumb rocket.
 

CaptNumbNutz

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Aren't a-10s supposed to be mothballed? Now they're added laser guided rockets as if that's new? Maybe for the warthog, but i don't think it is for other planes.
They keep proving to be the cheapest thing on hand to do the job that is required. Currently, that job is taking out ISIS and other terrorist shit lords that don't have anything good enough to fire back at them.

If and when we get in another war with a country that owns 21st century missiles, then the A-10 might finally get retired. Until then, I've got no problem saving a few bucks and using 20th century hardware against enemies still stuck in the 10th century.
 

FrgMstr

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They keep proving to be the cheapest thing on hand to do the job that is required. Currently, that job is taking out ISIS and other terrorist shit lords that don't have anything good enough to fire back at them.

If and when we get in another war with a country that owns 21st century missiles, then the A-10 might finally get retired. Until then, I've got no problem saving a few bucks and using 20th century hardware against enemies still stuck in the 10th century.
Shit. Even the people the killed by the Warthog have a 98% satisfaction rating.
 

-Anomie-

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Aren't a-10s supposed to be mothballed?

If the B-52 is still an effective weapon, the A-10 should be on the Air Force all-star team. Kind of like the C-130, there's nothing better for the job and it's WAY cheaper to maintain and upgrade than to develop a new system just to say you have a new system. Not only that, but the boots on the ground absolutely LOVE the sound of an A-10 cannon tearing shit up, and they practically idolize the pilots. It would be a really bad idea to get rid of them for morale reasons alone.
 

aaronspink

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Aren't a-10s supposed to be mothballed? Now they're added laser guided rockets as if that's new? Maybe for the warthog, but i don't think it is for other planes.

A-10s have had laser guides missiles for a quite a while. APKWS just provides that capability in a smaller missile that can be carried in greater numbers.

And yes, the airforce has wanted to kill the A-10 for decades. See it isn't sexy. It isn't an A2A fighter. And the Air Force basically only cares about sexy A2A fighters when their actual defined missions and reason for existing is to support the troops on the ground with A2A only existing to enable that.
 

aaronspink

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Good. Using a Hellfire or a Maverick is a huge waste on someone with a machine gun behind some sandbags.

And much much more accurate than the unguided units.

Ok, so what's the price?

Per Hellfire, per guided rocket, and per dumb rocket.

APWKS is basically an addon to the 2.75" rockets. It utilizes existing 2.75" rocket stockpiles and is a screw in section (basically the 2.75" rockets already are 3 separate screw together sections, this adds a 4th). IIRC the cost for the new section is ~10k per rocket with efforts to reduce cost as volume ramps. The rest of the Hydra 70 rocket costs in the couple grand range for new orders.
 

lilbabycat

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Sexy video. Those rockets on apaches are horribly inaccurate otherwise and the hellfires are super expensive so this is a great addition to its arsenal.
 

Flogger23m

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A-10s have had laser guides missiles for a quite a while. APKWS just provides that capability in a smaller missile that can be carried in greater numbers.

And yes, the airforce has wanted to kill the A-10 for decades. See it isn't sexy. It isn't an A2A fighter. And the Air Force basically only cares about sexy A2A fighters when their actual defined missions and reason for existing is to support the troops on the ground with A2A only existing to enable that.

I don't think the USAF uses laser guided Mavericks, just the IR and optical (I think those are all retired now). But yeah, smaller package, less range, probably cheaper. More accurate than unguided. I think it maybe great from an effectiveness vs cost perspective. The USAF wants to kill the A-10 because it is a niche aircraft and there is some overlap for the "kill guys in pickups" role.
 
D

Deleted member 278999

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I subbed a couple weeks ago, and will attest to this! Totally worth the price, and I'm glad I did the lifetime sub!

OT, this reminds me just a bit of Tony Stark's statement at the beginning of Iron Man - "I prefer the weapon you only have to fire....once."

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dgingeri

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Good. Using a Hellfire or a Maverick is a huge waste on someone with a machine gun behind some sandbags.

And much much more accurate than the unguided units.

Ok, so what's the price?

Per Hellfire, per guided rocket, and per dumb rocket.

I don't have exact numbers, as they can vary year to year by more than I anticipated when I first started looking them up. However, I have a ~90% accurate price comparison:
If Hellfire costs 150, this guided rocket costs 11 and the dumbfire rocket costs 10.
 

Mike89

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After watching spacex launch and landing today, along with this video, my day is fulfilled! Yeah. Ooorah. I'll take this over reading about Net Neutrality and Bitcoin all day long.
 

Nightfire

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They mention an A-10 but keep showing an A-1 Cobra. Hopefully they put thesr on Apaches as well.
 

seanreisk

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Manually dialed PRF selectors? WTF? What is this the stone age?

I never saw a pod with any form of digital interface to the cockpit. A pod is pretty oldschool, I imagine dialing in the laser frequency gives a lot of backwards compatibility for older, dumber systems. It also allowing you to safe and reuse unfired munitions if the armament guys unload the whole pod without clearing its magazine.
 

noko

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Manually dialed PRF selectors? WTF? What is this the stone age?
You have to directly change the PRF, no back door or vulnerability. Reliable, cheaper to implement and very hard to determine by someone outside = it will get the job done while destroying itself in the process.
 

Spidey329

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Really cool, but I kinda feel like the video laid out a lot more info than was necessary for the public domain.

Might as well have given us a schematic while they're at it.
 

M76

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When marketing teams come up with stupid convoluted acronyms and replace old well known terms with their own technobabble then you know they're desperate. APWKS DASALS Field of regard. Yeah, they're beyond desperate to sell their toys.
 

M76

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Really cool, but I kinda feel like the video laid out a lot more info than was necessary for the public domain.

Might as well have given us a schematic while they're at it.
Despite it actually being a rocket, this is far from rocket science. There is no sensitive information here, only age old technology. This video won't help anyone in defending against it or countering it. This is the equivalent of a car manufacturer explaining how the wheel works. It's not like there is a risk of someone copying it.
 

ZiggyDeath

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You have to directly change the PRF, no back door or vulnerability. Reliable, cheaper to implement and very hard to determine by someone outside = it will get the job done while destroying itself in the process.
This also means there's no way to turn it off.

A more sophisticated opponent could theoretically figure out what PRF you're using, and render your payload ineffective.

At the same time, you could also dial in different PRFs for every few rockets to prevent this from happening.

Or even better, have several targets designated from other actors in the area and simultaneously target a wide spread of targets.
 

T_A

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This is a low cost solution for a low-tech opponent , the whole idea is to save money getting the same results.
No ISIS Toyota is equipped with laser disrupting tech.
 

Mohonri

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Despite it actually being a rocket, this is far from rocket science. There is no sensitive information here, only age old technology. This video won't help anyone in defending against it or countering it. This is the equivalent of a car manufacturer explaining how the wheel works. It's not like there is a risk of someone copying it.
I think you're right--this *is* old tech, and not that complex. Actually, it's impressively simple, to be honest. Simple enough that even *I* have a fair idea of how to build the software for it.
 
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Deleted member 93354

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Manually dialed PRF selectors? WTF? What is this the stone age?

Why is that stone age? You could hook up a sub connector to the casing, but then that's an extra piece of specialty electronic equipment which may become lost or broken in the field. Pretty hard to lose a flathead screwdriver or dime.

A club I belonged to has been using solenoid coil relays since the 1950's and they are very reliable.

Sometimes simplicity wins in terms of cost, reliability, use.
 
D

Deleted member 93354

Guest
Really cool, but I kinda feel like the video laid out a lot more info than was necessary for the public domain.

Might as well have given us a schematic while they're at it.

There's nothing sensitive there. They number key on the side might be the pulse pattern hash which represents a laser pulse pattern. It would be pretty hard for them to jam that any way. Those laser beams are invisible most of the time and it's hard for them to know they are being targeted. So what are you going to do? Carry an Omni directional random pulse beacon with you and run it 24/7?
 

prominentlecturer

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This also means there's no way to turn it off.

A more sophisticated opponent could theoretically figure out what PRF you're using, and render your payload ineffective.

At the same time, you could also dial in different PRFs for every few rockets to prevent this from happening.

Or even better, have several targets designated from other actors in the area and simultaneously target a wide spread of targets.

You understand the rockets themselves are passive detectors right? I don't think ISIS is running around in the field placing spectrum analyzers and laser detectors at every surface of their HVTs in order to determine if anyone is shining a laser on it and what PRF it might be.
 

ZiggyDeath

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You understand the rockets themselves are passive detectors right? I don't think ISIS is running around in the field placing spectrum analyzers and laser detectors at every surface of their HVTs in order to determine if anyone is shining a laser on it and what PRF it might be.

Hence why I prefaced that with "a more sophisticated opponent". Plus against laser guided munitions, there's always smoke as a fallback to disrupt the laser targetting.

The issue is because the detector must be activated before loading because there's no ability to turn them into dumb rockets if the system is compromised, whether through PRF spoofing, smoke, or any other counter-measures useful against lasers.

So this weapon is clearly not as useful against any real HVT or enemy which operates at near technological parity
 

Grahamkracka

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You have to directly change the PRF, no back door or vulnerability. Reliable, cheaper to implement and very hard to determine by someone outside = it will get the job done while destroying itself in the process.
There are have been munitions with cockpit selectable PRFs for a looooooooong time. Most new laser guided munitions have such a feature by default. As someone else said, this is due to the lack of interface with the pod.
 
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