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By Bulbul Singh

12 Oct 08. Coming on the heels of the inking of the US-Indo nuclear
cooperation agreement, Washington is to sell advanced 1,000-pound class sensor-fuzed high altitude precision guided munitions to India. The bombs will increase the Indian Air Force’s ability to counter ground-armoured threats. The Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) is far
superior to older, traditional cluster weapons which are known to have
failure problems.

“India will buy CBU-105 and CBU-97 sensor-fuzed bombs and
other ammunition worth $375m from the United States on a
government-to-government basis,” said a senior Indian defence
ministry official.

Sources say more consignments of a variety of sensor-fuzed
weapons will be ordered from the United States.

The bombs will assist the Indian Air Force to develop and enhance
standardization with the United States. “India will have no difficulty absorbing these missiles into its armed forces.” said a U.S. diplomat.

The bombs locate heat emissions from tanks and other vehicles
and, using laser technology, engage the targets.

Once targets are enaged, the sytem releases cylindrical shaped projectiles. These projectiles, traveling at very high speed,
pierce the armor of an enemy tank or target.

The projectiles about 4-inches in diameter and weighing around 10
pounds spin in the air searching for enemy targets after being

In addition to the purchase of the sensor-fuzed bombs, India
is also finalising joint-development of a New Generation Precision Guided Munition [NGPGM] with Raytheon of the United States. In addition, India’s state-run Ordinance Factory Board (OFB) is also negotiating joint development of precision bombs, based on technology from Raytheon’s Enhanced Paveway-II Dual Mode GPS/Laser Guided Bombs for use by the Indian Air Force.

Sources in the Indian defence ministry said, “Negotiations are
nearly completed between Defence Research and Development
Organization (DRDO) and Raytheon for the joint-development of a 1000 kilogram-class NGPGM which can be used by Mirage 2000-H aircraft in particular and other Indian Air Force aircraft.

“The guidance and range-extension kit of the NGPGM is detachable and compatible with the General Purpose 2000lb/1000kg bomb.” said a senior Indian Air Force official. The weapon weighs around 1000 kilograms will have a warhead which can pierce concrete and hardened horizontal targets.

The ammunition will have 95 per cent kill rate within 3 meters from the air point.

Last month India also floated a global tender for the
acquisition of 4800 Sensor Fuzed Munitions (SFM) along with Technology Transfer for the Indian Army 155mm gun worth $120 million.

The SFMs will be employed for the destruction of high-value
mobile and static targets, both in offensive and defensive
operations. The specific targets envisaged include tanks, Armoured Personnel Carriers, Air Defense Warning Systems, Electronic Warfare Radars, communication centers, Command Posts, Early Warning and fire
control radars, and transport columns.

The SFMs will be employed against well dispersed mobile and
static targets and as such the munition should display a very
high kill probability and also cater for electronic counter
measures to ensure accurate and reliable functioning.

“The thrust of India’s endeavor to seek Precision Guided
Munitions will be based on a joint-collaboration basis as far
as possible.” said a senior Indian defence ministry official.

With this guiding principle, the Indian defence ministry
floated an acquisition of Anti-Torpedo Torpedos (ATTS)last month,
in which joint development will be favored.

The Indo-U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement is expected to start clearance of defence equipment to India from the United States
worth over $1 billion in the next two to three years, which will include laser guided weapons, advance testing equipment, missil

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