Textron Defense Systems will start production of India’s order for 512 CBU-105 sensor fuzed weapons (SFW) soon. The $257.7 million sale was contracted via the U.S. Foreign Military Sales mechanism in November 2010. Encouraged by India’s continuing move away from reliance on Russian weapons, Textron is now marketing other defense systems in the country.
Ellen Lord, senior vice president of Textron Defense Systems, told AIN that the company will meet an offset commitment of some $110 million for the SFW. Bharat Forge has signed an agreement to provide parts for Bell Helicopter, another Textron subsidiary. “We are now listing 20 companies for components for global requirements, including thermal batteries,” Lord added.
The SFW will be carried by Indian Air Force (IAF) Jaguar strike aircraft. Textron will work with subcontractors, the IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics to integrate the weapons. The SFW has come under scrutiny, since the Oslo Treaty bans the international sale or transfer of cluster munitions. Textron said the weapon is exempt because it has several proven features that prevent hazardous unexploded ordnance. “It hasn’t been an issue in India. The government of India asked for this since it is a clean weapon,” said Kevin Cosgriff, senior vice president for international business.
Textron said it briefed the IAF on the Bell-Boeing V-22 tiltrotor during last November’s Dubai Air Show. “There is a requirement [in India] for a heavy-lift helicopter. However, for longer range, the V-22 [steps in],” said Cosgriff. Textron has also presented the ground control stations produced by another subsidiary, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, to the Defense Research Development Organisation (DRDO). “They provide for different levels of autonomy…we have 700,000 hours of experience with the RQ-7 Shadow UAV on sensor management,” Cosgriff added.