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CBU-87/B Combined Effects Munitions (CEM)

The CBU-87/B Combined Effects Munitions (CEM) is an all-purpose, air-delivered cluster weapons system. A total of 202 Combined Effects Bomb (CEB) -- effective against armor, personnel and material -- are loaded in each dispenser enabling a single payload attack against a variety and wide area coverage. It is an area denial cluster weapon. This single payload is optimized against both lightly armored vehicles and personnel, in one highly effective submunition. The CBU-87 is a 1,000-pound, Combined Effects Munition for attacking soft target areas with detonating bomblets. The CBU-87 CEM, an all-purpose, air-delivered cluster weapons system, consists of a SW-65 Tactical Munitions Dispenser (TMD) with an optional FZU-39 proximity sensor.

"Combined Effects Munition ("CEM") system" means any unguided, air-delivered cluster bomb of the 1000-pound class designated by the United States Department of Defense as CBU-87, including but not limited to CBU-87/B, CBU-87(D-2)/B, CBU-87(T-1)/B, CBU-87(T-2)/B, CBU-87(T-3)/B, CBU-87A/B, CBU-87B/B, and CBU-87C/B. Each CEM system consists of a cluster of 202 anti-armor, anti-personnel and incendiary bomblets that disperse over a discrete area and explode upon impact; a tactical munitions dispenser; a proximity sensor; and a shipping and storage container.

The footprint for the CBU-87 is approximately 200 meters by 400 meters. The CEM dispenses the 202 bomblets over an area patch of 800 feet by 400 feet. The body of the submunition is cylindrical in shape, approximately 20 centimeters long, and has a 6 centimeter diameter. It is bright yellow when new. The original Cyclotol explosive has been replaced with PBXN-107 explosive in the IM BLU-97.

The CBU-87 was used extensively for interdiction during Desert Storm. During Desert Storm the US Air Force dropped 10,035 CBU-87s. During Allied Force the US dropped about 1,100 cluster bombs, and most of these were CBU-87s. The dud rate for a standard cluster was approximately five percent. By the end of November 2001, a total of 600 cluster bombs had been dropped over Afghanistan, consisting of 450 BLU-103 and 150 BLU-87 munitions.

In bringing the 1994 antitrust case, the United States sought to obtain monetary relief and to enjoin continuation of a teaming arrangement that eliminates competition and divides production between defendants Alliant Techsystems Inc. and Aerojet-General Corporation. These defendants have been the only two United States producers of Combined Effects Munition systems. For a 1992 procurement of Combined Effects Munition systems by the United States Army, the defendants' teaming arrangement reduced from two to only one the number of offerors, and increased significantly the proposed price of the resulting single offer. Unless prevented from continuing, the teaming arrangement was likely to result in higher prices and elimination of the benefits of competitive procurement in the future supply of Combined Effects Munition systems for the United States military.

The United States Air Force awarded a contract to Aerojet in May 1974 for the design, development, fabrication, and test of what was to become the CEM bomblet. The Air Force awarded Aerojet a second contract in March 1979 to complete development of the full CEM system. The Air Force awarded the initial production contract for the CEM system to Aerojet in September 1983.

The procurement strategy adopted by the Air Force for the CEM program starting in 1984 provided for having a second CEM supplier. This strategy was continued by the United States Army Armament, Munitions, and Chemical Command ("AMCCOM"), headquartered in Rock Island, Illinois, to which procurement responsibility for the CEM system was transferred in July 1987. The purposes of having a second supplier were to obtain the benefits of competitive bidding in future CEM procurements and to expand the industrial base for CEM production.

In 1984, the Air Force solicited competitive offers for the award of a second source contract. Following evaluation of the offers received, the Air Force awarded a second source production contract in November 1984 to Honeywell, Inc., the relevant division of which was later reorganized and spun off as Alliant. Since 1985, Alliant and Aerojet have remained the only two qualified United States producers of CEM systems. Between 1985 and t1994, Alliant and Aerojet, in response to formal Government requests for independent proposals, had produced and sold to the United States a combined total of approximately $1.75 billion in CEM systems.

In each of the six years from 1986 through 1991, and in response to annual requests by the Government for independent and competitive proposals, Alliant and Aerojet each submitted and certified the independence of offers for the supply of CEM systems. Each year from 1986 through 1989, the United States acquired CEM systems from both defendants, awarding the majority share to the low offeror and a smaller share to the high offeror, in order to preserve the benefits of having two viable producers on a continuing basis. The low-offer price for comparable CEM quantities decreased every year between 1986 and 1989, averaging about a 20% decline each year.

In 1990, based on an expectation that CEM procurement for the United States military was nearing completion, the defendants anticipated that the annual CEM procurement would be awarded as a "competitive downselect," that is, a single, 100% award to the low offeror. In response to the 1990 request for proposals, both defendants submitted offers significantly lower than ever before. The United States awarded the entire 1990 production requirement as a competitive downselect to Honeywell, Inc.(later Alliant), the low offeror.

Owing to depletion of CEM inventories resulting from Operation Desert Storm, funding was allotted in 1991 and 1992 for additional CEM procurement, which had not been previously anticipated. Accordingly, AMCCOM solicited two competitive offers from Alliant and Aerojet in both 1991 and 1992. Specifically, in 1991, each defendant submitted an offer to supply CEM systems. After evaluating the offers, AMCCOM awarded CEM production requirements to both Alliant and Aerojet.

On or about July 31, 1992, AMCCOM distributed a draft request for independent and competitive proposals from the defendants for the procurement of approximately 10,000 CEM systems. On or about August 28, 1992, AMCCOM distributed the formal request for proposals. Anticipating another competitive downselect, Alliant and Aerojet entered into an arrangement to submit only a single offer in response to the 1992 request for competitive proposals.

On or about September 3, 1992, Alliant and Aerojet entered into a written teaming arrangement, which provided among other things that Alliant would act as prime contractor for the purpose of submitting offers on all future CEM procurements by the United States, that Aerojet would decline to submit offers as prime contractor on all future CEM procurements by the United States, and that in consideration of Aerojet's not submitting offers, Alliant would award subcontracts to Aerojet for certain designated components of CEM systems, thereby suppressing and eliminating competition and dividing the revenue and profit from the supply of CEM systems between Alliant and Aerojet as nearly equally as possible. Alliant and Aerojet further agreed between themselves on the price to be offered by Alliant on the 1992 CEM procurement. On or about September 11, 1992, Alliant submitted an offer in the amount of approximately $133.6 million. By a letter dated September 8, 1992, Aerojet declined to submit an independent offer.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:50:49 ZULU