March 24, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - EDO Corporation has been awarded a $6.3 million "Foreign Military Sale" contract for 34 production-phase BRU-57 bomb-release units on F-16 aircraft. Deliveries are expected to be completed by 2006.
An AFMC viper on a testflight with the new BRU-57 release racks for use on the F-16.
Under the Foreign Military Sales program, U.S. defense contractors, such as EDO, sell defense equipment indirectly to foreign governments through U.S. Government contracting agencies. This contract's foreign-government customer is not being disclosed.
The BRU-57 is a multiple-weapons carriage system that is capable of integrating the latest technology munitions known as "smart weapons." The BRU-57 enables individual targeting and release of each weapon. The U.S. Air Force has ordered approximately 400 BRU-57 units to date.
Compared to the previously used TER-3 triple ejector rack, it has advantages of interfacing with smart weapons, higher reliability and maintainability, and greater safety with lower potential for collision of weapons during release.
The BRU-57 has two stations, each with MIL-STD-1760 interfaces for smart weapons so flight and targeting data can be transferred to the weapon immediately prior to release. The F-16 now will be able to carry four, instead of two, 1,000-pound class smart weapons, thus doubling its "smart weapon" capacity.
The U.S. Air Force recently certified use of the Lockheed Martin CBU
- 103/104/105/107 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser series using the BRU-57 on its fleet of Block 40/42/50/52 F-16 aircraft. Certification of the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW
) is expected to be completed late this year. The rack is also compatible with 500-pound and 1,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs
The F-16 is the first aircraft to use the BRU-57. The BRU-57 contains two BRU-46 ejector units already used in the U.S. Air Force inventory.