ANKARA, Turkey — The Pentagon awarded a $682.9 million contract to sell to Turkey an unspecified quantity of smart bombs through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) scheme.
One Turkish military official said: “The deal came timely as we are deeply engaged in asymmetrical warfare and need smart bombs.”
Turkish fighter jets have routinely bombed the strongholds of the insurgent Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. Clashes between the Turkish military and the PKK intensified after the Kurdish militants ended a two-year-long ceasefire last July.
The Pentagon awarded the contract to Ellwood National Forge and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems for the sale of BLU-109 bunker busting bomb bodies and components.
This is the first reported sale of BLU-109 bombs to Turkey. Turkish officials expect deliveries to be completed by 2020.
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.
The bomb contains 550 pounds of high explosive Tritonal, a combination of 80% TNT and 20% 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.