CBU-97/105 Internal Carry?

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 16:09

Is it possible?


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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 16:36

Are they smaller than a GBU31?


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Unread post28 Jul 2015, 17:31

It's in the plan, even for the F-35B

"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post23 Sep 2017, 05:14

Continuing the discussion from: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=12237

CBU-97/105 carriage was cancelled for Block 3F some time ago; according the Bogdan this was because the weapon was apparently banned (more on that later):

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/03 ... t-problem/

According to the F-35 Joint Program Office, a Block 3F F-35 is supposed to be able "to search, detect, track, ID and engage multiple stationary and moving surface targets in clear and adverse weather." At the time the services formed the F-35's requirements, they believed they could use a cluster munition to meet the moving target objective, but those weapons were banned under an international treaty, said F-35 JPO head Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan.

"The U.S., by treaty, is not allowed to use those weapons anymore," he told reporters in February. "So when that weapon left the inventory, we were left without a weapon that could hit moving targets."

AFAIK the CBU-97/105 isn't banned yet and may still see service with the US for quite some time, but 2 years ago there was an investigation & report released by the Human Rights Watch which looked into Saudi Arabia's use of the CBU-105 in Yemen. That report identified that the CBU-105 was failing to meet the <1% UXO rate, which is a US government export requirement for the weapon and a policy that the Pentagon is making a requirement for all cluster munitions used by the US after 2018. On top of that, following the results of that investigation, Textron (who builds the CBU-97/105) made the decision last year to no longer produce them (but would still fulfil existing orders): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/che ... m-anymore/

Also, while Bogdan was talking about the US, signatories of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which includes a number of F-35 partner nations, are prohibited from using the CBU-97/105 as well / have been since 2010.

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