Older rockets don't have the sort of smart technology that newer versions have today. And the 70mm Hydra rockets have been around since the 1940s. The reason why they are is because they're less expensive and cause less collateral damage than a Hellfire sized ordnance. The only problem with these so called "dumb rockets" is that they won't have much direction to it.
But now,a new laser guided upgrade from BAE Systems is going to change all of that to make the Hydra 70 much more agile and deadly. A 70mm rocket can weigh anywhere from 7 to 17 pounds and are generally good enough to destroy unarmored military targets. But they will only blow up what they're pointed at assuming if they actually hit it. To improve it, BAE Systems has implemented The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System, to deliver this level of aiming precision. The APKWS is designed to make the $1,000 Hydra do more than a conventional 70mm rocket can without costing taxpayers $70,000 a pop, as Hellfires do.
Unlike other add-on guidance systems, the APKWS installs between the warhead and rocket motor and it doesn't require specialized training or tools to do that, which means that on ground crew can easily add the capability in the field.
"This weapon, now deployed in Afghanistan, continues to prove it is a precise, rapid-fire missile system, available at one-third of the cost and one-third of the weight of the existing inventory of laser-guided weapons," said John Watkins, director of Precision Guidance Solutions for BAE Systems.
The rockets with APKWS has the ability to hit targets at close range and penetrate complex targets in urban terrain, vital when needed for supporting troops on the ground.