Fleet Air Arm gains ‘Advanced Precision’

MH-60R instructors from Training Authority Aviation (TA-AVN) were sent back to school recently in order to learn the nuances of the latest weapon for the MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopters; the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS).

APKWS is currently in service with the United States Navy and consists of a digital rocket launcher capable of firing up to 19 laser-guided rockets with high explosive warheads.

TA-AVN instructors were schooled by a team of training specialists from the US Navy over two separate periods. The first session was focused on fitting the launcher to the aircraft. The most recent session focused on the assembly of the rockets, which are delivered in three parts.

Able Seaman Shaun O’Sullivan, a member of the TA-AVN training staff, said he was looking forward to training Royal Australian Navy maintenance personnel.

“I really enjoy seeing technical sailors gaining confidence on the many systems in the MH-60R,” he said.

“The addition of APKWS is another exciting inclusion to the broad range of equipment that a Navy aircraft technician is responsible for.”

Leading Seaman Aaron Lever of 725 Squadron was just as enthusiastic.

“I am looking forward to working on this new capability. The firepower it can deliver to our MH-60R is impressive. Getting trained and paid to work on the latest technology is exciting.”

The APKWS is being delivered to fill the gap between the GAU-21 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) and the AGM-114N Hellfire missile.