The U.S. Air Force is moving forward with the next-generation 2,000 lb.-class bombs called BLU-136, according to a Federal Business Opportunities notice.
In a notice posted on the Federal website this month, the Air Force Materiel Command announced that the service will issue a pre-solicitation notice/procurement synopsis for the BLU-136/B Next Generation Area Attack – production.
The Direct Attack Munitions Branch (AFLCMC/EBDA), Direct Attack Division (AFLCMC/EBD), Armament Directorate (AFLCMC/EB), Eglin AFB, FL, plans to award a multiple award Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract for the production of the BLU-136/B area attack warhead.
The Air Force expects to release a request for proposals by July 31 and intends to set-aside the multiple-award contract to small businesses. Interested parties may submit responses to the presolicitation notice through Aug. 2.
The U.S. Air Force is developing a new type of bombs as a replacement for cluster munitions, which are being phased out by the Pentagon.
Cluster munitions are a type of weapon that has been banned by 102 countries largely because of concerns that they armed and unexploded cluster munitions left on the battlefield pose a long-term hazard to civilians. A 2010 international treaty outlaws the use of cluster bombs, but the U.S. is not a signatory. Although, in practice, the U.S. rarely uses cluster bombs.
According to the current information, the BLU-136/B is a 2,000 lb.-class bomb designed to rain down metal fragments on enemy forces as a replacement for cluster munitions, without leaving behind unexploded ordnance. This weapon is four-times the size of the BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead, which is now being put into production. The BLU-134 and BLU-136 are different designs.