Textron Defense Systems has launched production of its CBU-105 sensor fuzed weapon (SFW) for India, following the receipt of a contract to supply 512 examples to the nation's air force.

The US company is still awaiting formal confirmation of the intended carriage aircraft for the area attack weapon, but this is expected to be India's Hindustan Aeronautics-built Sepecat Jaguar.

Made via the US government's Foreign Military Sales mechanism, the deal is worth $257 million.

"We're building up the payloads now and working towards issuance for integration," says Lisa Atherton, Textron Defense Systems' vice-president business development.

Meanwhile, Textron now believes that its SFW design is exempt from the Oslo Treaty, which bans the international sale or transfer of cluster munitions.

The weapon, which already betters US Department of Defense requirements by having a 99.6% reliability rate, uses individual skeet warheads which are non-hazardous if found on the ground in the event of a failure. The DoD categorises such skeets as "pick up and carry off" items if found on the battlefield, but Atherton says: "If it's on the ground, it's a hockey puck".

Source: Flight Daily News