07 April 2010

South Korea to Integrate Textron Defense Systems' Sensor Fuzed Weapon with FA-50 Aircraft

7 April 2010

A much improved version of the standard cluster bomb, the sensor fuzed weapon (formally the CBU-97) uses "smart" bomblets to spread destruction across battlefields with precise strikes on multiple enemy targets. The CBU-97 is actually a bomb-like canister (above, inset) containing 10 cylindrical canisters (called "submunitions") that each hold four "smart" hockey puck-shaped "skeet" bomblets, giving a total of 40 bomblets per weapon.
As shown in the diagram above, just after the main canister is released, its skin opens ("A" on the diagram), deploying the 10 submunitions each with its own parachute. At a preset altitude, the parachutes are jettisoned (B) and rockets in the submunition canisters (C) lift them up and then spin to disperse the skeet bomblets (D). Infrared sensors in the bomblets then search for targets that are taken out with small powerful warheads (E). (image : DiscoveryChannel)

WILMINGTON, Mass., --Textron Defense Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that the Republic of Korea Air Force has chosen Textron Defense Systems' Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) for integration onto the Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 light combat aircraft. Through a foreign military sale led by the Eglin Air Force Base Air Armament Center and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration of South Korea, Textron Defense Systems expects to begin providing inert integration rounds starting in 2010.

"SFW's precision and reliability are valuable assets that can help ensure the security of the Korean Peninsula and greater Pacific Region," says Senior Vice President and General Manager Mark Catizone of Textron Defense Systems. "The integration of our SFW smart area weapon onto the highly capable FA-50 aircraft is an important first step toward system purchases in the future."

Textron Defense Systems' SFW accurately detects and defeats a wide range of moving and stationary land and maritime target threats -- from heavy armored battle tanks and soft-skinned vehicles to maritime threats -- over a wide area with minimal collateral damage and no hazardous unexploded ordnance. In fact, SFW has been verified by the U.S. government to achieve greater than 99 percent reliability during its flight test program, which includes thousands of tests in various conditions.

SFW contains Textron Defense Systems' BLU-108 submunition and smart Skeet(TM) warheads equipped with dual-mode passive infrared and active laser sensors. If a Skeet warhead does not detect a valid target over its lofted trajectory, one of its three safety modes will activate. The first two modes enable the Skeet to self destruct after eight seconds from launch or within a 50-foot (approximately 15-meter) altitude above the ground. The Skeet's third feature is a self-neutralizing time-out device that will yield the warhead inert within minutes of hitting the ground. These built-in, redundant self-destruct logic and self-neutralization features are key elements that distinguish SFW from legacy munitions.


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