CMS DEFENSE SYSTEMS has fit-checked its AFDS-T-powered submunitions dispenser on a Royal Australian Air Force General Dynamics F-111C, in preparation for a possible bid to meet Australia's Air 5398 requirement for a stand-off weapon.

Fit checks have also been conducted by Texas Instruments, with its Joint Stand-Off Weapon, and Daimler-Benz Aerospace (Dasa), with its KEPD 350.

The AFDS-T is a turbofan-powered derivative of the AFDS submunition-dispensing glide bomb being marketed by CMS for the Lockheed Martin F-16.

The AFDS, in turn, is based on the DWS 39 dispenser weapon developed by Dasa, CMS' parent company, for Sweden's Saab JAS39 Gripen fighter.

Speaking at the US Air Force's 50th anniversary exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada, Michael Swingley, business-development manager at Shalimar, Florida-based CMS, says that the company is close to its first order for the AFDS and expects a contract this year.

The weapon was flight-tested on the F-16 in 1995, including five free flights - three with guidance and one concluding with the release of a number of inert runway-cratering submunitions.

Australia's requirement is for a stand-off weapon with unitary or submunition warheads. CMS is talking to Williams International about using its 4.45kN (1000lb) P8300 turbofan, which would provide a stand-off range of 250km (135nm).

The AFDS-T would have a new guidance system, with an autonomous terminal seeker on the unitary-warhead version, according to Swingley.


Source: Flight International