The U.S. Dept. of Defense placed two five-year contracts with forging producers to manufacturer bomb casings for the BLU-137/B penetrator warhead — one of a series of custom-made bombs developed to penetrate hardened or deeply buried structures.
In addition to the U.S. Air Force, BLU-137/B "bunker buster" is available for use by the defense forces of numerous allied nations. Sources note the device has a steel casing about 1 inch (25.4 mm) thick, filled with explosive and a delayed-action fuse. It’s understood to be capable of penetrating four to six feet of reinforced concrete.
Superior Forge & Steel Corp., Lima, OH, was awarded a $476.9 million, “indefinite/delivery indefinite-quantity” contract to produce the warheads. This contract provides for Superior Forge and Steel to produce up to 300 of the casings during the first year, and up to 3,500 in the subsequent four years.
The work will be performed by Superior Forge in Cincinnati and Lima, OH, and Falconer, NY, and is expected to be completed by May 3, 2020, according to the contract.
A. Finkl & Sons Co., the Chicago steel forging company, was awarded a $419.6 million, “indefinite/delivery indefinite-quantity” contract to produce the BLU-137/B penetrator warhead bodies. This contract provides for up to 300 casings to be produced during the first year of the contract, and up to 3,500 to be produced in the subsequent four years, through 2022.
Finkl’s work will be performed in Chicago, Falconer, NY, Corry, PA, and Burr Ridge, IL.
Both contracts were awarded on the basis of competitive bidding, DoD noted.