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Faxon, Major Tool awarded $600M for next-gen area attack warhead

By Ed Adamczyk
Faxon, Major Tool awarded $600M for next-gen area attack warhead
A replacement for the GBU-39B ordnance, pictured, known as the BLU-136/B warhead, is under development by the U.S. Air Force. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force

Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Two companies share a $600 million contract to produce cases for the U.S. air Force's BLU-136/B next-generation area attack warhead, the Defense Department announced.

Faxon Machining Inc. of Cincinnati and Major Tool & Machine Inc. of Indianapolis received the seven-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract on Tuesday, which calls for manufacture of 15,000 warhead cases by September 2026.

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The warhead is a 2,000 lb.-class bomb designed to shower metal fragments on enemy forces.

It is a replacement for cluster munitions, which are being phased out by the Pentagon, according to a 2008 directive, because they leave unexploded ordnance and can harm civilian populations.

The new weapon is four times the size of the BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead, currently in production.

The BLU-136/B is compatible with the existing GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition guidance system and the DSU-33 height-of-burst sensor and can be integrated on the F-16 aircraft, officials say.

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