Pentagon Approves to Sell Around $700 Million of Smart Bombs to Turkey
WASHINGTON(Hurriyet Daily News) — The Pentagon has approved a deal to sell $682.9 million worth of an unspecified quantity of smart bombs to Turkey through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) scheme, defensenews.com has reported.
The Pentagon awarded the contract to Ellwood National Forge and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems for the sale of BLU-109 bunker-busting bombs and components.
Clashes between the Turkish military and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) resumed in July 2015 after a two-year-long cease-fire, which had come following intense clashes since the mid-1980s between the two parties. Turkish fighter jets have routinely bombed the strongholds of the PKK in northern Iraq, also known as Kandil.
This is the first reported sale of BLU-109 bombs to Turkey. Turkish officials expect deliveries to be completed by 2020.
“The deal was timely as we are deeply engaged in asymmetrical warfare and need smart bombs,” one Turkish military official was quoted as saying by the website.
BLU-109s have been in the Pentagon’s inventory since 1985 and are reported to have been used on fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was mated to a laser-guided system during operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991.
The bomb contains 550 pounds of high explosive Tritonal, a combination of 80 percent TNT and 20 percent aluminum powder. The BLU-109’s tail fuse delays the bomb’s detonation until the bomb has penetrated the targeted bunker, ensuring complete destruction of the location.