Textron Defense Systems could be poised to sell its CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) system to Saudi Arabia, with a deal to be worth a possible $355 million.
Revealed by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) following a 10 June notification to Congress, the potential deal covers the delivery of 404 CBU-105D/B weapons and 28 integration test assets, plus test equipment and personnel training.
The DSCA described Riyadh's request as being driven by "legitimate security and defence needs", and said that potential targets for the weapon could include "bunkers, armoured and semi-armoured vehicles, personnel and certain maritime threats".
Among the terms of a sale would be "an agreement that the cluster munitions and cluster munitions technology will be used only against clearly defined military targets and will not be used where civilians are known to be present or in areas normally inhabited by civilians," it added.
The CBU-105 weapon has a 99.6% reliability rate, according to its manufacturer. In the event of a failure, each of its 40 individual "skeet" warheads is non-hazardous once on the ground.
No indication was given as to which aircraft type would be equipped with the SFW, but this is most likely to be the Royal Saudi Air Force's Boeing F-15 fleet.
Textron late last year finalised a $257 million contract to provide 512 CBU-105s to the Indian air force, with these believed to be destined for carriage by its Hindustan Aeronautics-built Sepecat Jaguar ground-attack aircraft.
Source: Flight International