Tuesday, June 30, 2015

US to export carbon-fiber bomb

The United States plans to export an advanced, tungsten-laden bomb designed to cause less collateral damage than its predecessors. The 500-pound BLU-129/B was originally produced by Aerojet Rocketdyne as a quick reaction capability for the war in Afghanistan as a way of reducing civilian deaths by using a carbon-fiber-wound composite shell casing to limit the blast radius. The bomb entered service in 2011 and an initial production run of up to 800 units ended earlier this year. Now, the Air Force says it's interested in restarting production for domestic and international consumption, with the government approving exports to any nation that already purchases Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance assemblies. "The BLU-129/B continues to be an operational success story in multiple theaters of operation, providing a very low collateral damage weapon to reduce unintended fratricide,” said Jasmine Porterfield, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Armament Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: Flightglobal, 06/29/15)