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.
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.