May 20, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin was awarded a $52.9 million contract to produce 1,655 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) tail kits and 100 WCMD-Extended Range (ER) wing kits for the U.S. Air Force. The purchase of 100 WCMD-ER kits signals the beginning of production for this system.
USAF F-16 carrying two WCMD (Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser) cluster bombs.
-ER system adds a wing kit to the GPS
version of the WCMD tail kit to obtain a range of 30-40 nautical miles. The kits will be mated with the Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW
), reducing collateral damage concerns.
"WCMD has proven itself in combat and the new extended range version, WCMD-ER, enhances both the range and accuracy, improving the Aircrew's survivability and enhancing mission responsiveness at an affordable price," said Randy Bigum, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "The increased range provides standoff capability so critical in the presence of more capable air defenses. The improved accuracy ensures target destruction and the use of the Sensor Fuzed Weapon payload reduces collateral damage concerns."
This WCMD production lot (Lot 5) brings the total to approximately 28,000 tail kits for the U.S. Air Force. WCMD is used with area attack weapons, such as the CBU
-87 Combined Effects Munition (CEM) and CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon, to enhance accuracy by correcting for launch transients, ballistic errors and winds aloft. The system provides strike aircraft with an effective delivery means for employing area attack munitions from any operational altitude or weather condition.
This effort includes guidance kits for an international customer, engineering support and field installation support. Work under the contract, awarded by the Air Armament Center at Eglin Air Force Base, FL, will be performed at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control facilities in Orlando, FL; Ocala, FL; and Carlsbad, CA; and Lockheed Martin Assembly Services in Americus, GA.
WCMD allows the warfighter to effectively employ area attack weapons with near precision, while allowing crews to operate in the sanctuary afforded by high altitude. This capability has significantly improved weapon effectiveness and allowed the use of area attack weapons where they could not be used previously.
WCMD was deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq on B-52 and F-16 aircraft. In addition, the system is certified on the F-15E strike aircraft and the B-1 bomber. Integration activities on the A-10 Thunderbolt close-support aircraft, F-117 stealth fighter and F-35 Joint Strike Fight are ongoing.