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MK 82 Model 7 / BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead (ILW)

The Improved Lethality Warhead (ILW) program is an effort to deliver an improved area attack capability to the USAF warfighter by producing a 500 pound Cast Ductile Iron (CDI) Warhead, which produces much better fragmentation than legacy steel warheads. The BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead (ILW) (formerly called BLU-111D/B), is an area attack employed, near-term, 500 lb warhead for improved anti-personnel anti-material (APAM) target lethality which meets DoD policy on cluster munitions.

One of the manufacturers of the Mk 82 produces a version with a pre-fragmented body. This means that the bombs body has been scored at regular intervals along its length and width so that it will readily break apart into fragments of uniform size. The effect of pre-fragmentation on the overall effectiveness of the Mk 82 is significant. A standard Mk 82 bomb body produces a lethal area of approximately 80 m (across) by 30 m (along), giving a lethal area of approximately 2,400 m2. The pre-fragmented version, known as the PFB-82, produces a similarly-shaped, but much larger lethal area of 240 m (across) by 80 m (along) high, giving a lethal area of 19,200 m2.

The body of the Model 7 is made of cast ductile iron, as opposed to the standard steel body. The cast ductile iron body is designed to give a wider spread of fragmentation than a steel body. It is fitted with a proximity fuze, so that it detonates above the target, rather than on impact. This airburst effect, like the ductile iron casing, is designed to maximise the spread of lethal fragments.

Cast Ductile Iron was chosen as the material for the bomb body because previous testing has shown that this material has excellent fragmentation characteristics. For this reason, any change to an alternate material is unlikely to be approved unless supporting data can be presented showing improved fragmentation compared to CDI. This bomb must survive extreme environments (vibration, maneuvering loads, cold temperatures, etc.). For this reason, any proposed change that could impact structural integrity of the bomb body (i.e modified lug attach points, material properties, or casting soundness) will require extensive testing prior to approval.

In FY 2015 the USAF Armament/Ordnance Development program expanded previous development planning efforts to study options and demonstrate technologies for improved lethality in future scenarios which meet DoD policy on cluster munitions and unintended harm to civilians. It began BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead (ILW) (formerly called BLU-111D/B) source selection for an area attack employed, near-term, 500lb warhead for improved APAM target lethality which meets DoD policy. In FY 2016 the Air Force started manufacturing development of BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead (ILW). In addition to meeting current DoD policy on cluster munition and unintended harm to civilians, improvements may be synergistic with maintaining a suitable manufacturing base. In FY 2016 the Air Force completed manufacturing development and began Government testing (DT/OT)of BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead (ILW).

The Air Force has a validated Technical Data Package (TDP). The Direct Attack Weapons Branch (AFLCMC/EBDW), Direct Attack Division (AFLCMC/EBD), Armament Directorate (AFLCMC/EB), Eglin AFB, FL., plans to award a firm fixed price contract for the ILW. The contractor will design and qualify production tooling required to build the warhead in accordance with the government provided TDP. The contractor will deliver empty warheads in accordance with drawing number 923AS1081 "Body Assembly, Cast Ductile Iron, General Purpose, 500 Pound, Mk 82 Mod 7, Empty". The government will then fill the warheads with explosives at a US Army Ammunition Plant. The contractor will be responsible for transportation and delivery of cases to McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.

The Government may procure any quantity between the minimum procurement quantity of 1,000 units and a maximum procurement quantity of 15,000 in any given fiscal year.



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