Wednesday, July 8, 2020

General Dynamics receives $125 million bombs contract modification

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The U.S. Department of Defense announced on Wednesday that General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) received a $138 million contract modification for manufacture parts for the military service’s MK80 and BLU-109 Tritonal bombs.

GD-OTS was awarded a $125,000,000 modification to domestic and Foreign Military Sales (Iraq, Bahrain and Singapore) contract for MK80 series general purpose and BLU-109 tritonal bomb components.

The Mk80 series are relatively cheap and can be deployed by a wide variety of aircraft.

This class of weapons uses a shape known as Aero 1A, designed by Ed Heinemann of Douglas Aircraft as the result of studies in 1946. It has a length-to-diameter ratio of about 8:1, and results in minimal drag for the carrier aircraft. The Mark 80 series was not used in combat until the Vietnam War, but has since replaced most earlier GP weapons. It includes four basic weapon types:

  • Mark 81 – nominal weight 250 pounds (113 kg)
  • Mark 82 – nominal weight 500 pounds (227 kg)
  • Mark 83 – nominal weight 1,000 pounds (454 kg)
  • Mark 84 – nominal weight 2,000 pounds (907 kg)

The BLU-109 is a hardened penetration bomb. The BLU-109 has a steel casing about 1 inch (25.4 mm) thick, filled with 530 lb (240 kg) of Tritonal. It has a delayed-action tail-fuze. The BLU-109 entered service in 1985. It is also used as the warhead of some marks of the GBU-15 electro-optically guided bomb, the GBU-27 Paveway III laser-guided bomb, and the AGM-130 rocket-boosted weapon.

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems manufactures large- and medium-caliber ammunition, bomb bodies and precision metal components; provides explosive load, assemble and pack services for a variety of tactical missile and rocket programs; and designs and produces shaped charge warheads and control actuator systems.

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Executive Editor

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