November 09, 2012
The Indian air force (IAF) is likely to start taking delivery of 512 CBU-105 sensor fuzed weapons (SFW) made by Textron Defense Systems in the first half of 2013, a defense ministry official says.
Under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales deal, Textron will deliver the SFWs to the U.S. Air Force, which in turn will give them to the IAF, the official says.
The SFW will be mounted on the IAF’s Jaguar fighters, and Textron will work closely with state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. to integrate the weapons, the official says.
“Deliveries [from Textron to the U.S. Air Force] began in September and will be complete by the year end,” Textron spokesman Stephen Greene tells Aviation Week. He could not say when the Air Force will deliver the weapons to the IAF.
India awarded Textron a $257.7 million contract for 512 SFWs and 44 training units in December 2010.
After the deal was signed, the SFW came under scrutiny because the Oslo Treaty bans the international sale or transfer of cluster munitions. But Greene says the SFW is exempt from the ban because its BLU-108 submunitions weigh 29 kg (60 lb.), and the treaty defines a submunition as being between 4 and 20 kg.
SFW also helps address the principal reason for the Oslo Treaty — eliminating unexploded ordnance left by unreliable mechanical fuzes, he adds. SFW employs active and passive sensors to replace such fuzes and has a 99.6% proven reliability rate, significantly reducing the likelihood of a dud, Greene says.
IAF chose the SFW after it was convinced that the weapon was reliable, safe and met current battlefield standards, an Indian defense ministry official says.