Textron wins Indian sensor fused weapons contract : Defense news
The Indian Air Force(IAF) will soon receive one of the most lethal bombs in the world, the CBU-105 sensor fused weapon as the U.S. has cleared the sale of 510 of them to the IAF by awarding a $257.7 million contract to Textron Systems Corp., under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Textron contract was announced yesterday which means the Indo-U.S. deal for the same must have been inked sometimes earlier this year.
India had requested the sale of 510 sensor fused bombs, 19 CBU-105 integration test assets and associated equipment in 2008. At that time the cost of the deal was estimated at $375 million. The U.S. Defence and Security Cooperation Agency had then told the U.S. Congress that the sensor fused weapons would help India “to enhance its defensive ability to counter ground-armored threats. The missiles will asssit the IAF to develop and enhance standardization and operational ability with the U.S”.
India had sought offsets under this contract but it not yet clear if the same was agreed to as the technology is said to be a closely guarded U.S. secret with only close allies such as Korea and Israel receiving the same. The half-ton CBU-105 will most probably be launched from a heavy aircraft such as the SU-30MKI.
First used during the 2003 Iraq war, the CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon releases computer controlled and radar equipped submunitions that hunt for tanks below and destroy them. The CBU-105 can be used to attack formations of tanks or armoured vehicles. When dropped on an airfield it can cause extensive damage to the parked aircraft and runway.
The CBU-105 carries ten submunitions.
Each of these uses a parachute to slowly descend and seek out armored vehicles or tanks . If one is spotted, the guidance system maneuvers the submunition towards the vehicle and fires a shaped charge that is basically a bolt of molten metal travelling at high speed which penetrates the top armor of the vehicle damaging the insides. If the submunition radar does not spot a tank or other armored vehicle, it attacks any vehicle within a hundred meters or so. If there are no vehicles, the submunition detonates on the ground.